Stanton Takes Less Money In Early Years To Help Marlins
By Scott Alfano
The details of the Giancarlo Stanton deal have come out, and it looks like the Marlins are really hoping Stanton opts out after six seasons.
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Jayson Stark of ESPN.com writes that the thirteen year contract is heavily back loaded. While the overall contract pays Stanton an average of $25 million per year for thirteen years, $218 of the $325 million is paid in the final seven years. While the Marlins are getting a great value in his pre opt out years, the end could be ugly.
Stanton will make $6.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016, and $14.5 million in 2017. In years 2018-2020, Stanton will make $77 million dollars. Then his opt out is there if he wants it. However, he will make an average of $31.1 million dollars per year for the remaining seven years if he chooses to stay in Miami.
Stanton wants the team to have flexibility in the coming years to sign other players on the team to long-term deals like Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich. Taking a combined $30 million over the next three years does just that. The Marlins are betting that they can start winning immediately and Stanton is in for the ride.
While Stanton is opening up flexibility for the next few years, this deal could really cripple the team in the 20s if Stanton decides to stay. $25 million dollars a year seemed like a tall, but doable order for the Fish. Now knowing the Marlins could be on the hook for over $31 million a year for 7 years in a row (remember he has a full no trade clause), owner Jeffery Loria either has a lot more money to spend on baseball than people realized or he plans on selling the team within the next decade. Of course that is pure speculation, but there are few other options than those two.
The Marlins currently have a modest TV deal that pays them somewhere between $10-$15 million dollars per season. While they may be able to cash in on a new deal in the coming years, it is not money like the Dodgers are going to be receiving. Baseball in South Florida simply is not very lucrative despite the high population and great weather. It will always be a struggle to maintain TV ratings, as well as butts in the seats. If the Marlins become a perennial 90+ win team, we may see them start to average 2.3-2.5 million fans per season (they had 1.7 million last season). However, this is all speculation on issues that will not occur until years from now. So Like Loria, I say let’s just go out and enjoy some Marlins baseball with one of the best right fielders in the game.