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The Marlins prized new prospect, Michael Stanton, is only 20 years of age but should be a top candidate next to Uggla and Nolasco to be extended. His bat has caught fire lately after a slow start and is starting to show what he is about.
Stanton figures to be the Marlins middle-of-the-order bat for many years to come, same thing was said about another former Marlin, Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera was young when he was called up at the same age and helped the Marlins to the World Series. The Marlins should know that he was a cautionary tale and that Stanton should be locked up right now before his numbers figure to escalate further to a point where he would demand a lot right as he hits arbitration.
Because he was called up in early June, after the possible cutoff date for Super-Two status, Stanton figures to be arbitration eligible after the 2013 season and free agent eligible after the 2016 season.
Stanton has drawn comparisons to Dave Winfield but those are best reserved for his defensive play. Stanton's bat has the potential to be that of a Ryan Howard (who was a Super-Two) and for that must be extended long term before it ever gets to that scenario. Stanton is a potential 40 HR hitter with the ability to drive in 110-120 runs but it's his strikeout ability that really makes him and Howard similar, on a best-case scenario.
The face of the future alongside Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez, who have already inked long-term deals, Stanton's long-term contract potential this offseason depends on whether the Marlins can extend Uggla and Nolasco this offseason as well. Chances are low either way of it happening but it should happen.
The Marlins should follow the M.O. of the Rays and Brewers when they signed Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria to long-term deals in their rookie seasons, albeit their first seasons were quite impressive and thats why they were inked.
Current Contract: Major-league minimum
Recommended Future Contract: 6-year, $17 million deal (with a two-year team option totaling $20 million in 2017 and 2018.)
Chances He Inks*: 15%
(Chances he inks or signs a contract this upcoming offseason)