LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Giancarlo Stanton already hasn’t made any new friends in St. Louis and San Francisco this winter and his grand unveiling in a New York Yankees uniform at the Winter Meetings isn’t going to change that.
Stanton — the reigning NL MVP — didn’t think the Giants nor the Cardinals were ready to win a World Series right away, which is a reason he used his no-trade clause to block trades to both teams. Instead, he picked the Yankees, who were one win away from making the World Series last year.
The Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros were the teams Stanton would have accepted a trade to, but the Miami Marlins instead struck up deals with the Giants and Cardinals. As you might remember, those were the final four teams in the MLB postseason.
“I gave my list of teams,” Stanton said in his press conference, “and they went to San Francisco and Cardinals and struck deals with them. So I was open to listen to them, but those were not my teams. Those are great people. They were great meetings and a great organization and culture there, but that just wasn’t the fit for me.”
Afterward, he elaborated to reporters who asked more about the Giants and Cardinals, confirming that he thought they weren’t close enough to win a World Series immediately.
“Yeah, I would say that, I just I felt like I was, I would have been putting it over the hump rather than jumping into a team already prepared to be there,” Stanton said. “So I want to put any team over the top, obviously, but they already got one game away from going to the World Series. So I feel like I can come in and help.”
Stanton had the opportunity to defend himself a little bit to any angry Cardinals and Giants fans, saying it was unfair to him that it the whole situation was portrayed as him just having to pick between those two teams.
“You got to let someone in my situation see all my options,” he said. “You can’t just jump to the first thing available or be expected to make a decision right away.”
Stanton even admitted that the Giants’ rivalry with the Dodgers — the team he grew up rooting for as a kid in L.A. — played at least a small factor in his decision.
“I wouldn’t base a decision off that,” Stanton said. “But also I wouldn’t want to go to a team that they disliked the most and wasn’t sure if they were going to beat that team either, but at the same time if they were in the right position that I wanted, I would have done it.”
Throughout his comments about the Yankees, Stanton said he was attracted to the fact that they were a “hungry” team and they potentially would be good for years to come, which is important for a guy under contract until at least 2027.
“Even if, say, they lost the Wild Card game, they still were in the position to be there,” Stanton said. “So once you get to the playoffs, from what I’ve observed, it’s how you perform during that time. It’s not the best team throughout the season that’s going to win it. It’s who is hungry, who steps up in those times, and who catches fire at the right time.”
– – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Eagles officially lose Wentz for season with torn ACL
• Sports world reaches out to young bullying victim
• Reigning MVP Stanton officially becomes a Bronx Bomber
• Report: Jones tried to block Goodell deal at last minute