The the conversation around Miami all season has been centered around Giancarlo Stanton, and for good reason. Stanton is enjoying an MVP season, is on the verge of breaking the Marlins all-time home run record, and can also break the single season home run mark.
However, the biggest conversation surrounding the super star right fielder has been about his future in Miami. “Does Giancarlo want to be in Miami long-term” has to be the second most questioned topic in Miami after LeBron James’ decision.
After losing a similar star like Miguel Cabrera in the past, the Marlins realize that it would be an extremely tough pill to swallow with the fanbase if they let Stanton go elsewhere. That’s why the team is preparing to offer Stanton a franchise record contract this off-season, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale,
"The Marlins have plans.Yes, expensive plans.The Marlins plan to offer MVP candidate Giancarlo Stanton the most lucrative contract in franchise history. Even if they can’t reach an agreement on a long-term contract extension this winter, the Marlins insist they will keep Stanton through at least the 2015 season, vowing to build a championship club around him."
With free agency just two years away for Stanton, the Marlins are unlikely to get a discount from the slugger. The Marlins are going to have to offer Stanton a crooked number that could make owner Jeffery Loria extremely uncomfortable. Or any owner for that matter.
The Marlins two richest contracts in franchise history have both gone to short stops, in the past. The team signed Hanley Ramirez to a six year $71 million extension in 2008. That deal was beaten when the team gave Jose Reyes a seven-year deal worth $106 million with a $22 million dollar eighth-year option.
A contract for Stanton could be in the $300 million range, the type of contract he’d likely receive if he were to hit the open market in two seasons.
Michael Jong of Fishstripes points out two plausible offers the Marlins can give Stanton this off-season. One would make him the first player to be a Marlin for life and the other would allow him to hit the free agent market at the ripe age of 32, like Robinson Cano.
"The Fish could go even further with Stanton and offer the Joey Votto package, offering him all the free agent seasons in the world and essentially locking him up for his career at an absurd rate. Would Stanton sign an as-of-yet unheard-of 13-year, $302 million deal to stay in Miami for life?Or is the opposite more likely? Stanton may want to leave earlier rather than later, and an offer that allowed him free agency at an earlier time may be preferable. Stanton could sign a contract now for seven years (five free agent seasons only) and head into free agency for the first time at age 32. Robinson Cano essentially just did that, and he secured a 10-year, $240 million contract as a result. The annual average value of the deal would have to be more expensive for Stanton, in order to account for the decreased certainty of a longer deal. But would he and the Marlins both be happier at a seven-year, $157 million contract that would allow him to test the waters for a final big-money deal?"
Stanton, however, is not going to sign with the Marlins just because they put a huge offer on the table. He has stated in the past that he wants to play on a contending team. To his credit, he has always made the money a secondary matter, with team stability being the most important to him, when it comes to talking about sticking in Miami long-term.
"“There has to be some progression moving forward,” says Stanton. “You can’t be just OK hanging around with the big boys. We have to turn it around and become one of the big boys.”Stanton wants assurances the team is committed to winning. He remembering all of the hype two years ago with their free-agent haul, and the fire sale in November 2012, after the season went up in flames.“It wasn’t the trades that made me mad,” Stanton says, “it was just how it all went down.”"
Stanton, like many of the fans and players, were blindsided by the Marlins fire sale trade with the Blue Jays. After talk about reloading the team and making another run in 2013, the Marlins completely changed course and decided to gut their entire roster, minus Stanton and then-Marlin Ricky Nolasco.
That and the unpopular firing of manager Ozzie Guillen probably made Stanton uncomfortable as a Marlin. Trust is a fickle thing and it had been ruined between the two sides after the trade.
While the Marlins have made major strides this season, Stanton is not going to let the past 5 months make him forget about the last 5 years of his time in this organization. Who can blame him for that?
In my opinion, the off-season will shape up like this:
- The Marlins offer Stanton a contract extension
- Stanton tells the Marlins to build a contending roster and get back to him.
- The Marlins make a huge free agent splash/trade
- The Marlins come back to Stanton with the extension
- He declines/accepts the extension.
If Stanton declines an extension, the Marlins could then decide to trade Stanton for pieces they can keep long-term. However, I doubt the Marlins will do that. The more likely scenario would be then to hang onto Stanton till at least the trade deadline and see how the team performs. The team could then make one more last ditched extension offer in the off-season and trade him if he doesn’t want to commit.
Will Stanton sign an extension with the club this off-season is still not my biggest question. I’m still skeptical that the Marlins actually make a market value contract offer to Stanton. If he does, the does Stanton sign question will come into play.
What do you guys think? Drop your thoughts and feelings about this in the comment section or jump on Twitter and let us know your thoughts at @MarlinManiac.