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- Giancarlo Stanton has agreed to a 13-year, $325 million deal.
- The contract is the richest in North American and baseball history.
- Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria confirmed the deal to The Miami Herald.
Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton has agreed to a record 13-year, $325 million deal with the Miami Marlins on Nov. 17. Stanton’s extension is the biggest ever in baseball, eclipsing Miguel Cabrera’s 10-year, $292 million contract which he signed in 2013.
“(Boston) Red Sox and (New York) Yankees fans can stop dreaming.
“Giancarlo Stanton isn’t going anywhere — at least not for the next six years.
“Owner Jeffrey Loria confirmed Monday that the Marlins and the 25-year-old two-time All-Star slugger have reached a 13-year, $325 million deal, and a formal news conference to announce the news will happen Wednesday.
“A landmark day. It means everything to the franchise,’ Loria told the Miami Herald by phone. ‘We have a face of the franchise for the next 13 years.
“‘I expect him to be 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.’
“News of the record contract first began to trickle out last Friday. Monday, Loria confirmed the deal was officially done. Stanton, as previously reported, will have an opt-out in the contract after the 2022 season, making him and American League MVP Mike Trout free agents the same winter if he so chooses.
“But Loria believes Stanton will be here for the full duration of the contract.
“‘He obviously saw last year that the franchise was serious about winning and serious about doing great things in the new stadium,’ Loria said. ‘I talked to him [Monday] afternoon just after all the tests were completed. He passed with flying colors. I’m thrilled. What can I tell you? He’s a wonderful young guy and he’s a talent.’
“How can a penny-pinching team like the Marlins, that hasn’t spent this much money before on an entire roster, afford this? ‘We can afford it,’ Loria said. ‘We are going to surround him with an improved lineup as well. We need another bat in this lineup that can help him out.’
“Stanton, the runner-up in the National League MVP race, has been in South Florida the past few days and attended Saturday’s University of Miami-Florida State game at Sun Life Stadium.
“He declined to comment about his contract but did talk about his recovery since being struck in the face by a pitch on Sept. 11 that ended his season 17 games early. Stanton said it was going well and ‘soon there won’t be any scars’ on his face and cheek left from the injury.
“He’ll certainly have enough money in the bank soon to get whatever he needs. His contract is the richest in baseball and North American sports history — bigger than the 10-year, $275 million deal Alex Rodriguez signed with the Yankees, and the recent $292 million deal Miguel Cabrera signed with the Tigers back in March.
“A two-time All-Star, Stanton led the National League with 37 home runs and slugged five of the 20 longest home runs hit this season according to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker.
“Signing Stanton to a long-term deal was once seen as a long shot for the penny-pinching Marlins. Baseball powers like the Red Sox and Yankees — and their beat writers — were lining up prospects with the idea the Marlins would eventually ship Stanton out when he got too pricey.
“But Marlins ownership has stepped up in a way it never has for a ballplayer.
“Stanton’s $325 million deal is more than the Marlins have spent combined on their entire major-league roster the past five seasons ($303 million). And with the exception of pitcher Javier Vasquez, the Marlins have steadfastly refused to grant no-trade protection to any of their free-agent signings under Loria.”
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick weighs in on Stanton’s new megadeal:
“Does anybody really think the Marlins, by signing Stanton to the biggest contract in sports history, can turn Marlins Park into a go-to destination or an event in the same way that American Airlines Arena became the ‘place to be’ during LeBron James’ tenure with the Miami Heat? The Marlins made the leap from 62 to 77 victories in 2014 and Stanton posted MVP-caliber numbers as the leader of a fun, energetic team, and they ranked last in the National League in attendance with 1.7 million fans.
“Indeed, the Marlins have ranked last or next-to-last in the NL in attendance in 14 of the past 16 seasons. The only exception came in 2004, when they were fresh off a championship and drew 1.7 million, and in 2012, when they cracked 2 million in their Marlins Park debut. Miami isn’t a baseball town — or a great sports town, for that matter — and people are no more likely to flock to Marlins Park to see $30 million-a-year Giancarlo Stanton than they were a $480,000 Stanton or a $5.5 million Stanton.
“The Marlins’ TV deal reportedly pays them $16-$18 million a year, and some insiders say it’s closer to $13 million annually. The Dodgers, in contrast, will average $334 million a year over the life of the 25-year agreement with Time Warner Cable. Throw in a meager season-ticket base, and the Marlins’ franchise has enough limitations that even the rosiest projections make anything more than an $80-$90 million payroll seem like a pipe dream.
“That might suffice when Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and the team’s other core players are in the early, dirt-cheap phases of their careers. But as time passes and those players get more expensive, the likelihood of Stanton becoming a one-man band can only increase. The Marlins say they’re intent on retaining much of their nucleus in the years to come. And we should believe this precisely why? Because Loria and team president David Samson say so?”
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