If the reports are true that Giancarlo Stanton is about to become a New York Yankee — and they almost certainly are — this is a bad day for the rest of the American League East.
The Yankees already were on the rise, with a team full of young talent that already was way ahead of schedule after reaching the playoffs this past season.
The arrival of Stanton will give them the two top power hitters in the game in a stadium that fits both of them very well, which could be considered overkill for a team that led the majors with 241 home runs last season.
When the deal becomes official, it should send a ripple throughout the sport, because the end of two months of Stanton speculation combined with the news that Shohei Ohtani has agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Angels should supercharge the upcoming winter meetings.
Over the past few years, the unresolved status of the top free-agent players and superstar trade candidates have been known to stunt trade talks at Major League Baseball’s December convention. Stanton and Ohtani were the two players who figured to do that.
Since the impact on the balance of power in the American League East is obvious, the big question in Baltimore should be about the impact of the Stanton deal on the Orioles’ chances of re-signing Manny Machado.
If there is a direct impact, it might be an increase in organizational urgency to work out a long-term deal with one of the game’s top young stars.
There could be an indirect impact on Machado’s market value as a free agent next winter, because the assumption of Stanton’s giant contract could make the Yankees less of a player in the market.
It certainly figures to affect the market for Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper, who no longer appears to be a fit for the Yankees, but both of the Mid-Atlantic region’s young stars still figure to command record contracts.
The Orioles already were losing ground to the Yankees, so moving decisively to make a legitimate attempt to extend Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop should be a no-brainer.
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