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Wednesday, Nov. 19
Stanton Deal Nearly Done
The Marlins tweeted a photo of Giancarlo Stanton signing his new contract:
Tuesday, Nov. 18
Stanton's Contract Heavily Backloaded
Jayson Stark of ESPN reported on Giancarlo Stanton's new contract with Miami:
If Giancarlo Stanton opts out of his new 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlinsafter the first six seasons, he'll be walking away from a staggering $218 million over the final seven seasons, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN.com Tuesday.
However, one source said Stanton was so motivated to give his team the financial flexibility to win now, he agreed to a heavily backloaded contract structure that will pay him just $30 million over the first three seasons.
According to a major league source who had seen the terms, Stanton's salaries over those first three seasons will be only $6.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016 and $14.5 million in 2017, far less than he could have earned through arbitration in 2015-16 and then via free agency. He would then earn $77 million over the next three seasons, and could opt out of the contract after 2020, following his age 30 season.
Monday, Nov. 17
Stanton Signs New Deal With Marlins
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported Monday that the two sides have agreed to the terms of the new deal, which the team will announce Wednesday morning. Sources told Heyman that the contract includes a no-trade clause. Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald later confirmed the report.
The New York Daily News' Andy Martino provided more specifics on Twitter, including the terms of Stanton's opt-out option and when the massive payday will become official:
Owner Jeffrey Loria commented on the signing, via Navarro:
A landmark day. It means everything to the franchise, ... We have a face of the franchise for the next 13 years.
I expect him to be a Marlin for 13 years. We are going to be surrounding him, we have already started to surround him, with All-Star caliber players, and there will be more.
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Loria credited a strong 2013 as a reason Stanton decided to stay and isn't worried about the sky-high price tag:
He obviously saw last year that the franchise was serious about winning and serious about doing great things in the new stadium. ... We can afford it. We are going to surround him with an improved lineup as well. We need another bat in this lineup that can help him out. ... I did this for the city, the fans, for Giancarlo, our team, for myself and for baseball.
News of the reported deal comes as little surprise. Christina De Nicola of Fox Sports Florida reported on Nov. 5 that Stanton and the Marlins were working on a long-term extension that would keep him in Miami for the foreseeable future.
Marlins president Michael Hill previously indicated how much the team wanted to keep the right-handed slugger.
"We're hopeful we'll be able to make him a Marlin for many years to come," Hill told De Nicola.
"At some point he's either going to be signed to a multi-year [deal] or be signed to a one-year," Hill continued. "We haven't gotten to that yet, and we'll definitely keep you guys posted. There's no deadline in place to the timing of things."
The Marlins avoided arbitration with Stanton last year, signing him to a one-year, $6.5 million deal in January. Since putting pen to paper on that contract, Stanton's value has grown exponentially. And with baseball's rapidly inflating contracts, he was in line for a hefty payday with this extension.
In the past year, Miguel Cabrera signed an extension worth $292 million over 10 years, while Mike Trout inked a six-year extension for $144.5 million. Those two deals helped set the market value for Stanton's next contract.
FanGraphs' Dave Cameron looked at the numbers and projected Stanton to be worth something to the effect of $300 million over 12 years, based on "several conservative estimates."
Cameron's projection was nearly right on the nail. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported on Thursday that Stanton and the Marlins were working on a deal that could exceed 10 years and $300 million.
Both Hardball Talk's Aaron Gleeman and Rotoworld's Matthew Pouliot wondered whether Stanton might be better off taking less money from a more stable organization:
MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince was of the opinion that $300 million could help Stanton get past whatever issues he's had with the club's management in the past:
Rosenthal also wrote that the Marlins were considering giving Stanton a no-trade clause, which would prevent Miami from selling him off a year or two into the contract because it wants to trim salary.
Paying Stanton $325 million is unquestionably a massive financial commitment. Given the current market standards, though, he's well worth it.
Despite only playing 145 games in 2014, Stanton led the National League with 37 home runs and finished second with 105 runs batted in. His numbers are even more impressive when you consider he played half of his games in Marlins Park, which is a spacious, pitcher-friendly park.
Stanton possesses prodigious power, to say the least. His 37 homers traveled an average true distance of 415.3 feet, which was second in the majors, according to ESPN's Home Run Tracker.
Far from being a one-dimensional slugger, however, Stanton boasted a slash line of .288/.395/.555, stole 13 bases and flashed an above-average glove in right field. He finished 2014 with the ninth-highest WAR (6.1) among position players, according to FanGraphs.
Even though he missed the final stretch of the season with a facial injury, Stanton was one of three finalists for the National League Most Valuable Player award, losing out to Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
The scary thing, at least from a pitcher's perspective, is that Stanton—just 25 years old—is only beginning to reach the peak of his powers. He and Trout are ushering in the new generation of stars. There's frankly almost no ceiling for what Stanton can accomplish, especially offensively.
Ace of MLB Stats posted comparisons between Stanton's numbers and those of Cabrera from earlier in his career. The difference between the two is almost nonexistent:
Over the years, the Marlins have built a reputation for enticing fans with competitive teams and then pulling the rug out from under them. The 1997 World Series-winning team was gutted immediately following the Fall Classic, and the same fate befell most of the key members on the 2003 World Series-winning team.
More recently, Miami committed big money to then-free agents Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle in 2012 in an effort to change the perception of the organization. The two veterans were gone a year later in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.
There's no telling whether the Marlins plan to build around Stanton for the next decade or deal him for prospects, like they've done with every big star in the past.
However, for now and the foreseeable future, Miami fans can still enjoy watching one of baseball's most talented players on a nightly basis.