Saturday, November 15, 2014


Giancarlo Stanton may want to pull a J.J. Watt and start Googling “What rich people buy?” because the 25-year-old outfielder is about to become the richest figure in sports history.

The Miami Marlins are reported to finalizing a mega-deal with the slugger and two-time All-Star for $325 million over 13 years. Stanton’s new contract is also said to have a no-trade clause and an opt-out clause.

The Marlins was eager to lock Stanton up for the foreseeable future—the young right-hander is one of the most feared power hitters in the league. This year, he led the NL with 37 homers—five of which were the longest ever tracked by ESPN’s home run tracker. Stanton also knocked in 105 RBI's and was the runner-up in the NL MVP race.

The contract is also a gesture to Stanton about the team’s commitment to being a contender. The outfielder was reportedly unhappy after the Marlins spent big a few years ago and then sold off a large portion of the team when they could no longer afford top talent.

And Stanton’s record $325 million contract is a hefty sum for a team that spent just $42 million in payroll this last season and practically duped Miami taxpayers into building a new stadium for them. In fact, Stanton’s contract is more than the Marlins have spent in the last eight seasons.

The buzz about Stanton’s contract reminds me of the time ARod signed his historic $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers back in 2000. Some of my friends privately told me that they couldn’t believe a baseball player could get paid that much money to swing a bat, but if teams are willing to pay the big bucks I say more power to them.

I do feel like these long-term deals never end up working out for the franchise though. Especially medium market franchises like Miami. It’s a lot of money to play for just ONE player—if the Marlins are looking to be in contention for a championship they are going to need a balance of talent on their roster. Using all their resources on one guy just seems like folly. It also limits their trading potential. What if Stanton’s output declines? You’ve basically narrowed your trade opportunities to big money teams who may or may not want to unload your burden for you—or you’re just plain screwed if Stanton ends up injured and unable to play at all.

Offering mega-bucks didn’t seem to work out with the Rangers and ARod, who was later traded to the Yanks. And remember Robinson Cano who left for the greener pastures of Seattle for $240 million? Well the Mariners finished the season just barely above .500. Miguel Cabrera, who was the highest paid player in baseball with a $292 million deal before Stanton’s agreement, is just beginning his mega-contract with the Tigers. So we’ll see how that works out for them.

As for Stanton, I think I’d rather have a World Series ring than a huge deal. But that’s just me.

--Alexis Garcia, BYB's "Eye on MLB" Columnist
Twitter:  @heylexyg

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