If you haven't heard, the Miami Marlins and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton have agreed to a thirteen-year, $325 million contract. If you have heard, well, good for you. Either way, $325 million is a lot of dough. In fact, it's more money than any other contract in major league history.
We all know the power Giancarlo Stanton possesses. We saw it during the regular season, at the Home Run Derby, and the fact that he hit some of the longest homers in numerous ballparks in his best season of his career this past year. It didn't end great, though, as Stanton was drilled in the face by Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers and was unable to return the rest of the year.
Stanton's new contract is larger than Alex Rodriguez's extravagant deal. It's larger than the money the Tigers guaranteed to Miguel Cabrera after they signed him to an extension. It's larger than any other contract in major league history. Stanton is one of the best young hitters in the game, but is he really deserving of the largest contract in major league history?
Yes. If you break down the contract to an annual average salary (AAV) dollar amount, Stanton will make $25 million per year, which is the right amount of money for a player of his caliber for sure. The reason as to why the deal looks so big is because Stanton's overall contract is $325 million. But that $325 million is over thirteen seasons. Thirteen. Alex Rodriguez's ten-year, $275 million contract actually had a larger AAV ($27.5 million) than Stanton's upcoming one.
The highest paid players in 2014 were as follows: Zack Greinke, Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano, Albert Pujols, and CC Sabathia. They all made between $23 and $26 million. Stanton is easily as good as Cano, Pujols, or Fielder. He will likely be better than them when he hits his prime. For example, Cano was a 5.2 fWAR player; Stanton was a 6.1 fWAR player.
Stanton is only going to improve, too. He's been in the majors only since 2010, and he just recently celebrated his 25th birthday. Ten days ago, to be exact. There's no question that he's only going to get better. Considering the fact that his deal is very backloaded, along with the fact that he has an opportunity to opt-out, the deal makes even more sense for both sides.
Overall, if Stanton gets to where we think he'll be over the next few years, he definitely deserves $325 million. It is still possible that the Marlins "jumped the gun" in signing Stanton, however, he has shown consistent power over his professional career and appears to be just getting started. I like the backloaded part of the deal as well. So, yes, I believe Giancarlo Stanton was worth his mega deal.