LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Giancarlo Stanton’s agent, Joel Wolfe, said on Monday afternoon that the Red Sox were never presented to him and his client as a possible trade destination.
“To my knowledge, Boston never had any interest in him,” Wolfe said after the Yankees introduced Stanton at a winter meetings press conference. “Not that they don’t love him as a player, but they never tried to make a deal with the Marlins.”
Asked if there were any other obstacles to Stanton potentially coming to Boston, Wolfe said no.
"I didn't really have a thought on it," Stanton said of potentially going to the Red Sox.
The Red Sox did have some level of interest, but as with anything, it was a matter of price. It became clear previously that the salary was not something the Red Sox were comfortable with.
Wolfe said he was not surprised the trade talks didn’t get to a point where Stanton would have had to think more seriously about coming to Boston.
“I wasn’t,” Wolfe said, “Because they have a tremendous outfield, and we were told at the GM Meetings that they were looking for pitching and other areas.”
The Red Sox are widely known to be looking for relief pitching -- which is what Wolfe was referring to -- in addition to a power bat.
The Yankees still intend to stay under the luxury tax threshold in 2018, owner Hal Steinbrenner said on Monday. They can do that even with Stanton. The Red Sox roster, with some big, cumbersome contracts, doesn’t have the flexibility the Yankees roster does -- and clearly, Red Sox ownership and management didn’t think it wise to take on such a huge deal.
That's not what most of the Sox fan base wanted to hear -- not at all.
The Yankees are to pay $265 million of the $295 million remaining on Stanton’s contract.
“I think [the salary is] a significant issue with everyone, yeah,” Wolfe said. “For sure. But I don’t know if that was the reason (the Red Sox didn't pursue Stanton) or not. But I mean, [Andrew] Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, those guys are under control and studs.”
In a long session with reporters, Wolfe said he discussed all 30 teams with Stanton, whose list of four teams he preferred to be traded to came into shape late in the season. (They were the Cubs, Yankees, Astros and Dodgers.) Asked specifically if he talked to Stanton about the Red Sox, Wolfe reiterated there wasn’t really a need to go down that road.
“We didn’t talk about it much for you know the reason I was just saying, with the three studs they had out there [in the outfield] and the depth, it just didn’t look like it was going to be a priority,” Wolfe said. “They were prioritizing pitching.”
And hitting, too. They'll have to find some somewhere else to satiate a fan base that just watched the Yankees add the National League MVP and best home-run hitter in the game.