Stanton's Deal Raises Some Eyebrows in MiamiAdded - Nov. 28, 2014 - Comments
The legend of Giancarlo Stanton, then commonly known as Mike Stanton, was established among then-Florida Marlins fans when he was in minor league outposts like Greensboro and Jacksonville and hitting home runs that went farther than anyone had ever seen. When he got to the majors as a 20-year-old, he got started right away, and has to date hit 154 big league homers. In 2012 he led the National League with a .608 slugging percentage, and last season he was the league leader in home runs, despite having to sit out the last three weeks after being severely damaged facially when he was hit by a pitch. Stanton wound up second in the voting for the National League's MVP award, and in the off-season, the Marlins have demonstrated just how much faith they have in him.
On November 17 they came together with their young superstar on a thirteen-year, $325 million contract extension that amounts to the largest single contract ever offered an athlete in North America. There is no doubt that with someone who has accomplished so much by the age of 24, Stanton (who changed his designation to "Giancarlo" a few years ago) is a player for a franchise to build upon. And he is greatly respected for his all-around skills. But there have to be some questions about how a player is going to react after suffering such a devastating injury. Many "insiders" in baseball have questioned the wisdom of what the Marlins have done.
At the same time, they also question the motivation of the team's management, which went on a spending spree just a couple of seasons ago, ostensibly to impress everybody about their commitment to winning in a new ballpark they coerced the city and county to shell out a tremendous amount of money for, only to dump all those acquisitions (including Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and manager Ozzie Guillen) within a year or so. In other words, for a franchise known for being "cheap," it was something of a mirage; a deception.
This contract also has an opt-out clause that the player can exercise after five years, as well as a no-trade provision, so it appears as if the Marlins can't just drop Stanton off if times get rough. Well, unless they are so bad at any given point that Stanton can't wait to get out of town, or deal with owner Jeff Loria any more. There's a lot of time for that to happen.