The Miami Marlins agreed to terms with Giancarlo Stanton on a $325 million, 13-year contract, it’s the most lucrative deal for an American athlete in history. The deal averages out to $25 million per season, a no-trade clause, and an opt out for Stanton after six years.
Stanton is the real deal, 25 years old, and arguably Major League Baseball’s most feared hitter. He doesn’t just hit home runs, he hits them far. Stanton has more 450-foot home runs than any player in baseball over the last five seasons.
Signing Stanton to such a lucrative deal puts Miami at the top of the baseball headlines. The Marlins have drawn criticism for how the team’s ownership has handled payroll in the past. They splurged on big-money free agents a couple of years ago, hoping it would help fill their new state of the art ballpark that the public helped pay for. They then changed course after one bad season by slashing payroll so aggressively it turned their fan base against them.
Miami needs Giancarlo Stanton to continue launching baseballs far beyond the fences of Marlins Park. Signing Stanton to a long-term deal is just as much about business off the field for the Marlins as it is on it. It’s another high-priced apology by a team to its fan base, $325 million to be exact.
Stanton can’t be blamed for taking Miami’s money, Major League Baseball does this every year it seems. Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols — all of these players have received big-money deals from teams obsessed with capitalizing on the present, however gambling on the future.
In Stanton’s case, his 2014 season ended abruptly on September 11th when he was hit in the face by a pitch. It can’t be ignored the possibility of Stanton seeing that as a reminder of how fragile a professional athlete’s career can be, it can be over in one play.
There’s also the opt-out clause in the deal for Stanton, he’ll be entering his 30’s around that time. If the Marlins are not holding up their end of a the deal as far as fielding a competitive team, Stanton can always look to take his talents away from South Beach to another team with deep pockets, perhaps the Yankees.
While many will debate if Stanton’s worth the money, or if the Marlins will surround him with enough talent to compete in the years going forward, both sides have agreed to this deal for reasons far beyond just baseball.
Anthony Rushing | @AnthonyRushing_