Giancarlo Stanton will be dearly missed by Marlins fans.
Stanton will miss them too.
But Stanton was clear about what he won’t regret leaving behind.
Stanton thanked Marlins fans, his teammates, coaches, the organization and the city of Miami both on social media and during a press conference Monday at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings during which he was formally introduced as a new member of the New York Yankees.
But in his farewell message a couple of hours earlier on his Instagram account, Stanton took a clear shot at previous owner Jeffrey Loria and expressed what he disliked about the way the organization was run during his eight seasons playing for the Marlins.
Stanton wrote: “I feel for u fans, you’ve stuck with me as we’ve shared some roller coaster years. I’ve always tried to be as professional as possible during the unprofessional, circus times there!
“Regardless of the Ups and downs, I’ve grown and learned a lot as a Person/Player. So for that I give thanks, I hope there are better days in Miami. The city and the people are too great not to be!”
Stanton elaborated on what he meant by the comment a couple of hours later as he wore his new Yankees uniform and cap with the same No. 27 on it he wore as a Marlin.
“I just meant [there was] no structure, no stamp of ‘This is how things are gonna be,’” Stanton said. “It’s a different direction every Spring Training, you gotta learn something new. Every spring, a different manager, every spring or every middle of the season. That’s what I meant by that.”
Stanton, a four-time All-Star, was traded to the Yankees for second baseman Starlin Castro and two prospects as the Marlins’ new ownership group spearheaded by Yankees legend Derek Jeter and businessman Bruce Sherman make efforts to trim payroll and rebuild one of the lowest-rated minor-league talent pools in baseball.
Stanton’s most recent campaign was his most memorable with the Marlins after hitting 59 home runs, finished with 132 RBI and became the franchise’s first league MVP.
Yet the Marlins finished 77-85 and short of the postseason for the 14th consecutive year.
Stanton made it clear to Jeter and the Marlins’ new owners he did not want to be a part of yet another rebuild. The Marlins began to trade core players last week when they dealt second baseman Dee Gordon to Seattle and followed with the Stanton deal.
“I wanted us to go forward and add to the pitching staff,” Stanton said. “I thought our lineup was legit and we needed help with our pitchers and needed to add rather than subtract. The way they wanted to go was to subtract. I let them know I didn’t want to be a part of another rebuild, another losing season. And that’s almost a guaranteed losing season taking away what I thought was a great lineup.”
Stanton said part of the appeal of accepting the Marlins’ trade to the Yankees was going to a franchise that was in position to win meaningful games and championships with a consistent direction.
“It’s what I always wanted,” Stanton said. “It’s what I always dreamed of, to be in competitive games where it means something and your performance means something to the team and the city.”
After the Stanton trade, the Yankees had the best odds of winning the 2018 World Series according to Bovada, improving to 5-1 from 11-1. The Marlins’ odds plummeted from 66-1 to 100-1, which is tied for second-worst only ahead of the Detroit Tigers (150-1).
Stanton delivered an additional message during the press conference to Marlins fans who are watching as the team’s new ownership trades away core players such as he and Dee Gordon in an effort to rebuild the team.
“I would say hang in there,” Stanton said. “They’re hurting. They’re going to go through some more tough years. I would advise them not to give up. Maybe watch from afar.”