The Miami Marlins have agreed to terms with outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to an extension, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The deal is over thirteen seasons and is worth $325 million, which is the largest contract in North American professional sports history.
Stanton's thirteen-year, $325 million contract had been rumored to be close over this past weekend, as we waited for the official deal to be signed. However, the Marlins have not officially announced the contract. Stanton has been their top priority to extend, and now he will be in a Miami uniform perhaps through his age-38 season. That is not a guarantee.
Stanton will have a possibility to opt-out following his age-30 season (or shortly thereafter), Heyman reports. The 25-year-old will guaranteed to be under contract for five, possibly six seasons. Following that, however, is still up in the air. If he decides to opt-out, Stanton could set a second contract record, similar to how Alex Rodriguez opted-out of his old deal to get his $275 million deal from the Yankees, which was the record at the time.
An announcement of this deal is expected later this week, perhaps Wednesday or Thursday, reports Heyman. It is still possible that a deal is still not signed, but it is finalized and in place, while also guaranteeing that Stanton will be a Marlin for five or six seasons. It also has full no-trade rights.
This is the largest contract in Marlins history, tripling Jose Reyes' $103 million deal, and represents a shocker to the team's payroll. According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Marlins just had $44.3 million in guaranteed money to their roster at the end of the 2014 season. Stanton, with his $6.5 million salary via the arbitration process, was the largest contract on their team. His new deal alone, on an average annual value basis, would increase their salary by over 50 percent.
Stanton and his agents at Wasserman Media Group have struck gold with this deal. Stanton still hasn't even returned to the field following his season-ending hit by pitch from Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers. While that doesn't seem to be an issue in terms of production, this deal appears to be a risk for Miami management, even if it might just be a small one.
Regardless, Stanton has been one of the most prolific sluggers in the majors since coming up to the majors in 2010. The Marlins former 2nd round pick in 2007, out of Notre Dame HS in California, hit .288/.395/.555 with 37 homers and 105 runs batted in on the season. He was named to his second All-Star team in five seasons, while finishing runner up to Clayton Kershaw in the MVP award voting.
Over his career, Stanton has hit .271/.364/.540 with 154 homers and 399 runs batted in over 634 games. The potential is there, as he is one of the best young players in the majors. And at age 25, Stanton looks to only be improving. Many large contracts are signed after the players already have hit their prime, but Stanton's prime still appears to be coming.
The Marlins still have a few young players that might be up for an extension soon. Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich are two young players that are closing in on their arbitration seasons, which could be turned into extensions. An extension during Fernandez's arbitration process will likely not occur, as his agent, Scott Boras, prefers for his clients to hit free agency. Yelich's extension could come next offseason.