Yankees fans were elated when the team traded a dearth of decent assets for Giancarlo Stanton. Not only had he just won the 2017 NL MVP, he crushed a staggering 59 home runs. And at 27 years old, Stanton seemed certain to muscle his way up the ranks of all-time Yanks who hit loads of long balls after landing in the Bronx. His latest hamstring injury, however, has italicized the increasing frustration fans are feeling over the slugger, who has hit fewer homers in two-plus years here (44) than he did in his final year in Miami. So we figured we'd look at the five best sluggers who came to the Bronx Bombers via trade, based on the total number of bombs they hit.
5. Curtis Granderson
Not the first name you'd summon when musing over sluggers. Granderson was hardly known as major power hitter with the Detroit Tigers in 2009 when the Yankees dove into a 3-team, 7-player trade that included Max Scherzer, Phil Coke, Edwin Jackson, Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy and Max Schlereth (son of former NFL lineman, Mark Schlereth). Granderson swatted 24 home runs in his first year with the Yanks, then drilled 41 in 2011, his best season in the majors, leading the AL in RBI (119) and runs scored (136) while finishing fourth in the MVP vote. The graceful and classy outfielder clubbed a career-high 43 homers in 2012, and ended his four-year Yankees career with a hearty 115 dingers.
4. Paul O'Neill
Surprised? Probably. Yankees fans fell in love with O'Neil almost the minute he got here in a trade with the Reds. THe scrappy right fielder seemed to live and die with every at-bat, played his heart out on the field, and is famous for kicking a ball back to the infield after he fumbled it a number of times. The Yankees have had a small army of iconic players. But it's hard to think of someone who captured the blue-collar spirit and hard-hat ethic of the Big Apple better than O'Neil, who also pounded 185 homers in nine years with the Bombers.
3. Roger Maris
Maris is such an essential member of Yankee lore it's hard to believe he played for two teams before he put on pinstripes. But Maris was indeed traded from the Kansas City Athletics to the Yanks in 1960, and all he did was win two AL MVP awards in his first two seasons, and break Babe Ruth's record with 61 homers on the iconic '61 squad. Maris reached the World Series in his first four years with the club, and finished his seven-year Yankees career with 203 home runs, and is the only Yankee on this list currently in Monument Park.
2. Graig Nettles
When you think of the long line of legends to grace the pinstripes, Nettles can't be the first Yank you had in mind. But the former fantastic third baseman was way more than a Gold Glove fielder. Indeed, Nettles blasted 250 homers in his 11 years with the club after he was traded from the Cleveland Indians for five players you likely never heard of. Nettles was also a key cog in four World Series teams (1976, 1977, 1978, 1981) while winning two rings with the Bronx Zoo Bombers in '77 and '78.
1. Alex Rodriguez
A-Rod made so much money over several contracts, it feels like the Yankees poached him from another club. But the Bombers did indeed trade Alfonso Soriano to the Texas Rangers for the all-world shortstop. Rodriguez famously slid over to third base to accommodate Derek Jeter - and, if we're honest, A-Rod was the better shortstop at the time - and then proceeded to belt 351 home runs in his 12-year Yankees career. Seemingly bound for a career of sublime regular season stats while gagging in October, A-Rod finally broke through in 2009, leading the Yanks to their last World Series title before retiring as perhaps the most polarizing player in team history. In an act of supernatural magic, A-Rod has since tailored his tattered image, became a fabulous TV analyst, got engaged to J-Lo, and is a baseball darling once again.