We knew Giancarlo Stanton was going to make a whole lot of money with his $325 million, 13-year extension, but now we know just how it's structured. ESPN's Jayson Stark reported on the fascinating breakdown of the contract, which is designed to give the Marlins room to spend to win in the present while heavily back-loading the years Stanton can opt out of.
Stanton will earn $6.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016, and $14.5 million in 2017. For context, Stanton made $6.5 million in 2014, his first year of arbitration, and was in line for a hefty raise for this upcoming season had he not signed an extension. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has the annual breakdown:
2015: $6.5 million
2016: $9 million
2017: $14.5 million
2018: $25 million
2019: $26 million
2020: $26 million
2021: $29 million
2022: $29 million
2023: $32 million
2024: $32 million
2025: $32 million
2026: $29 million
2027: $25 million
2028: $25 million option ($10 million buyout)
Stanton will make $77 million from 2018-2020, and can then choose to opt out of the final six years of the deal. Here's the thing, though: those final seven seasons have $218 million attached to them. That's an average annual value of over $31 million.
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Giancarlo Stanton and the deal the Marlins had to
If Giancarlo Stanton was open to an extension, the Marlins had to meet his demands because of their own weird history.
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The idea here is that the Marlins have guaranteed themselves, at the least, a few extra years of Stanton, as he would have been a free agent following the 2016 season had he not signed an extension.They can use that time to develop their promising youth and construct a successful roster around Stanton -- as well as young ace Jose Fernandez -- to show their commitment to fielding a winning, non-evil club. If the Marlins fail to impress their franchise player in this time, regardless of whether it's because they can't or won't build that winning team with Stanton at its core, he can walk away from the last six years in order to sign a lucrative, long-term deal with someone else while he still (in theory) has some of his peak performances left in him. In theory, this should work out well for both sides if Stanton has the healthy career path anyone with a conscience hopes he has.
In essence, this is two deals since the ball is in Stanton's proverbial court. He's playing on a six-year, $107 million contract signed two years from his expected free agency date. That's a great deal for both the Marlins and Stanton at this time, as it pays him for expected future performance but is also far below what he would make were he a free agent right now. The second deal is entirely up to Stanton, and is for seven years and $218 million. The risk here is on the Marlins' side, as if Stanton gets hurt and his production diminishes, cutting into what has the potential to be a Hall of Fame-caliber career, he can still collect his $218 million. If he's excellent for six years and begins to slow in his early or mid-30s, the Marlins will be paying him a premium, but they also would have had him at a bargain rate for an extended period of time while being given a chance to win.
Not bad, Marlins. Now to start spending those savings like your franchise player wanted.