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- Giancarlo Stanton could be baseball’s first $300 million man.
- He is discussing a 10-year deal with the Miami Marlins.
- Stanton finished runner-up to Clayton Kershaw in the 2014 NL MVP voting.
Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is in talks with the team for a potential $300 million megadeal, per multiple reports.
“Would Giancarlo Stanton turn down the biggest contract in professional sports history?
“The Miami Marlins apparently intend to find out.
“The two sides are discussing a deal that would be for at least 10 years and at least $300 million, according to major-league sources.
“Stanton’s representatives also have discussed shorter contracts with the Marlins, and the mere fact that the sides continue to talk is a sign of progress, sources say.
“Stanton’s agent, Joe Wolfe, declined comment.
“‘We’re having continual dialogue,’ Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said. ‘I wouldn’t say we’re close to anything.’
“The Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera currently holds the biggest contract in sports history — 10 years, $292 million a deal that began last season and runs through 2023.
“Stanton, 25, has questioned the commitment of Marlins ownership in the past, famously tweeting, ‘Alright I’m pissed off!!!’ after the team traded several veterans to the Blue Jays in Nov. 2012.
“Circumstances, however, have changed.
“The Marlins are coming off an encouraging season in which they won 77 games, their most since 2010.
“Stanton, meanwhile, suffered a facial laceration requiring stitches, multiple facial fractures and dental damage after getting hit by a pitch on Sept. 11 — season-ending injuries that might have persuaded him to reassess the risk of waiting for free agency.
“Finally, Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said this week that the team is willing to discuss a no-trade clause with Stanton, potentially reversing a long-standing club policy.
“The Marlins could control Stanton for two more seasons before he reaches free agency, keeping the outfielder under club control through age 34.
“Stanton led the National League with 37 homers, a .555 slugging percentage and 299 total bases last season, and was second to the (Pittsburgh) Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen with a .950 OPS.”
The Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer and Barry Jackson explain why Marlins management is willing to lock up Stanton to a long-term contract:
“Stanton would not be eligible for free agency until following the 2016 season, but the Marlins are eager to secure a long-term commitment from him.
“Stanton is widely recognized as the most feared slugger in the majors, blasting tape-measure shots like no other player. Of the longest 20 home run hits last season in the majors, according to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker, five belonged to Stanton. No other big-league player in the top 20 had as many as two.
“On Thursday, Stanton finished second in MVP voting to Kershaw, with the Dodgers lefty becoming the first pitcher to receive the NL’s highest honor since Bob Gibson in 1968.
“Stanton, who led the league with 37 home runs despite missing the final 17 games after having his face shattered by a pitch in Milwaukee, received eight first-place votes to Kershaw’s 18.
“Overall, Kershaw received 355 points to Stanton’s 298 in tiered voting by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. No Marlin has ever won MVP honors, but Stanton became the second Marlin to finish as the MVP runner-up. Hanley Ramirez was also second in 2009.
“The Marlins would like to keep Stanton’s explosive bat in the lineup for years to come.
“The Marlins have said they have no intention of trading Stanton even if he rejects their offer. If Stanton chooses to take a one-year deal, he could make $13 million or so next season if the matter goes to arbitration this winter.
“‘I’d say it’s a safe bet Giancarlo is hitting in the Marlins lineup next year and the next year,’ Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said Wenesday.
“Besides offering at least $300 million, the Marlins are also receptive to consider a partial or full no-trade clause, which would be a departure from previous club policy.
“‘It’s been a long-standing policy, but you’re talking about a tremendous talent,’ Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations, said Tuesday. ‘You look at the marketplace and what other elite players have gotten…it’ll definitely be a topic of discussion.’
“With the exception of pitcher Javier Vasquez, the Marlins have steadfastly refused to grant no-trade protection to any of their free-agent signings.
“If Stanton accepts a contract worth at least $300 million, it would be the richest guaranteed contract in baseball history, topping Alex Rodriguez’s 10-year, $275 million deal with the (New York) Yankees in 2008.”
The 25-year-old Stanton has amassed 619 hits, 154 home runs and 399 RBIs on a .271 batting average in 634 career regular-season games with the Miami Marlins, per ESPN stats.