Giancarlo Stanton, one of Major League Baseball's premier power hitters, avoided arbitration by reaching a one-year agreement with the Miami Marlins worth $6.5 million.
Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel passed along word of the deal:
OF Giancarlo Stanton has agreed to one-year deal, avoiding arbitration.— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) January 17, 2014
He also provided terms of the short-term contract:
Giancarlo Stanton will earn $6.5 million in 2014 #marlins— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) January 17, 2014
Quite simply, it's a steal for the Marlins.
How many home runs will Stanton hit in 2014?
The 24-year-old outfielder is averaging nearly 30 home runs through his first four seasons to go along with a career on-base percentage above .350. Signing a player of that caliber in the midst of his prime off the free-agent market would cost a boatload more than $6.5 million.
Of course, Stanton was always going to remain on the Marlins payroll, the agreement just ensures the two sides don't have to go through the arbitration process.
There was speculation earlier in the offseason that the talented slugger could be on the move during the winter, but Marlins general manager Dan Jennings quickly put an end to that talk. Jim Bowden of ESPN passed along comments from Miami's decision-maker:
Marlins GM Dan Jennings tod us: "Mr. Stanton is NOT Available. He will be in RF at Marlins Park on Opening Day. We are building around him"— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 3, 2013
In a perfect world for the Marlins they would be able to sign Stanton to a long-term deal that would keep him with the franchise through his peak seasons. That's proven elusive so far, however, but it's not a major concern yet as he remains under club control through 2016.
With the contract situation sorted out and the trade rumors squashed, the focus shifts to the new season. Stanton dealt with a serious hamstring injury last season that limited him to 116 games, but if he stays healthy he should approach 40 home runs.
That type of power production equates to great value under his new one-year deal.