The expectations for the 2018 Yankees are through the roof.
And Giancarlo Stanton is good with that.
"The fans expect a lot," Stanton said Wednesday afternoon. "I expect a lot, too. So we're in the same boat."
Stanton, acquired over the winter in a deal with the Marlins that shook the sport, entered uncharted waters this spring.
Stanton went from a franchise used to losing — the best record the Marlins had in his eight seasons there was 80-82 in 2010 — to one that hasn't had a losing season since 1992. And for many, anything short of a World Series appearance will be considered to be a failure.
Again, that's all good with Stanton, who said being on losing teams year after year wore on him "a lot."
"That part wasn't fun," he said. "But my focus has always been there. I always wanted more than that. Now I've set myself up for the opportunity to do it."
But there's scrutiny the 28-year-old, who won last year's NL MVP after leading the league in homers (59), RBI (132) and slugging percentage (.631), will face with that opportunity, scrutiny that comes with playing in the country's No. 1 media market.
Joining a lineup that already includes Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez means the spotlight won't be completely on Stanton, but there will be no escaping it, either.
"It'll be fine," said Stanton. "There will be good times and bad times, but it will be fine."
Stanton pointed out that ultimately it was up to him to OK a deal to the Yankees. He had a full no-trade clause in his contract, which he used to nix deals to the Giants and Cardinals.
"I had to waive my [no-trade] to come here so that would include thinking about everything that goes into it," Stanton said. "There's stuff you have to experience by experiencing it and there's things you have an idea of what it's going to be like. Those I've prepped myself [for] and I'll just be ready to play."
Cobb, O's finalize deal
Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.
"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old righthander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."
Cobb had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free-agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that also includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.
Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 ⅓ innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.
He is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons.
David Phelps, who figured to be a key piece in Seattle's bullpen this year, will miss this season after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm. The righthander, acquired last July from Miami, will have Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow; a surgery date has not been set.