The Miami Marlins on Wednesday officially announced their mega contract with superstar outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, signing the National League MVP runner-up for 13 years for a reported $325 million.
The deal is the largest contract in both length and total value in baseball history, surpassing the $275 million, 10-year deal signed by Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees before the 2008 season.
Stanton in recent days was rumored to be discussing a deal with the Marlins anywhere from 10 to 13 seasons worth $300 to 325 million. The outfielder earned $6.5 million in 2014 and was eligible for salary arbitration in 2015 and 2016.
The contract includes a full no-trade clause and and opt-out clause after 2020, the sixth year of the deal, and is heavily backloaded. Stanton will earn $107 million during the first six years of the deal, and $218 million for the final seven. Stanton stated that the opt-out was for his "protection" so he can verify that the organization is continuing to "move forward" and focus on winning. Shortly after, Stanton said, "You guys can think whatever you want. But it was not the money fueling this." Considering $218 million of the deal comes after the opt-out, it's easier to believe that's the truth.
The Marlins hold a club option for 2028 worth $25 million, or a $10 million buyout.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria stated that he and the front office flew out to Stanton's home state of California in order to "lock themselves in a room" until they hammered out the extension they wanted. When asked why this was different than in 2012, when the Marlins acquired Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell on long-term, lucrative deals, Loria stated that they wanted to do something special with the new ballpark opening. When it didn't work, they hit reset -- Loria said "it wasn't popular, but I didn't care." To be fair to Loria, as gross as dumping those salaries was, the pieces the Marlins received in return are part of the reason Stanton agreed to stick around in the first place.
Stanton, who turned 25 on Nov. 8, led the National League with 37 home runs and a .555 slugging percentage in 2014, hitting .288/.395/.555 with 105 RBI in 145 games. He has averaged 33 home runs in the last four seasons. The only major league players with more home runs than Stanton's 132 in 2011-2014 are Miguel Cabrera (143) and Jose Bautista (133), and Stanton is younger than both by seven and nine years, respectively.
Stanton finished second in 2014 NL MVP voting behind Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
The value of Stanton's contract exceeds the total opening day payrolls for the Marlins in Stanton's five years in Miami ($303.1 million), per Cot's Baseball Contracts.