The Curious Contract of Giancarlo Stanton

A Blog By Andrew Brown:

Throughout MLB history, there have always been one or two super intriguing offseason story lines, and barely a month removed from the World Series, the 2017 season has its first big talking point headlined by Giancarlo Stanton. By now the entire baseball world is privy to the possibility of one of the greatest sluggers in today’s age leaving his inaugural team to find a contender. This is the point where I would like to throw as much negativity as I can at past and present Marlins management. Stanton is a once in a generational player and although he deserves big money, I believe the contract that he’s yielding was a huge and crippling mistake by past Marlins management. It’s one of the craziest deals I’ve seen in my lifetime although I shouldn’t be surprised as it came from a prior owner who ended up suing some of his own fans. Now the present day Marlins leadership is left between a rock…and an even bigger rock. They have a player who can change the dynamic of a team but a $295 million anchor to go along with him.

 I truly believe that the Marlins are just a few pitching and positional additions away from being a contending team and don’t need to rebuild. For crying out loud they did just become the first team in franchise history to yield two Silver Slugger award winners in the same season so they’re doing something right. Regardless, the Derek Jeter led Marlins want to scrap all the potential and move on…even from Stanton. 

Never the less, I move on to tackle the oh-so intriguing topic of where Stanton goes next. My best guess here in the early going is that due to the crippling effect of Stanton’s contract, he will stay in Miami for at least one more season and here’s why. It’s pretty evident that the Marlins want to rid themselves of the entire $295 million left on Stanton’s deal plus the word is that pitching prospects are also a desired part of any potential trade. Now, I know I’m no GM, nor do I play one on TV, but when I take a look at the situation, how much sense does it really make to give up near 90% of my team’s salary and top pitching prospects? For me particularly, I would like to take a look at two much more appeasing options in Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. Why wouldn’t I rather go after the likes of Marcell Ozuna who’s contract is under club control and arbitration free for at least one more year. Why wouldn’t I go after a silver slugger who came just 8 RBI’s short of Stanton’s mark and who by the way was Miami’s only Gold Glove winner this year? Then there’s another enticing player in Christian Yelich, a continually rising star who’s contract lies under $10 MM for two more years while firmly under club control. Add in that he has not yet hit arbitration status and doesn’t look to until 2019, then teams have a much more cost effective option.

Overall, as is with almost everything in life, money is the biggest driving factor and unfortunately for the Marlins, the $295 million anchor looks to be driving Stanton away from anywhere but Miami. It’s a deal even the free spending Dodgers have to take a second look at. Speaking of the Dodgers, they’re a team that I see as one of the best fits for Stanton. He’s a native of the area, the Dodgers are a playoff bound team for at least the foreseeable future, and after the 2018 season they will be able to easily handle Stanton’s contract. If you caught what I just did there, you’ll notice I breezed over 2018 a bit to strengthen my point. While I do believe the Dodgers would work well for the L.A native Stanton, it won’t work out for next year due to L.A’s luxury tax problem and current contract obligations.

Now Stanton could end up in Boston with the Red Sox likely to part ways with Jackie Bradley Jr. and with the fact that the Red Sox are no longer afraid to spend big bucks. Then again, Boston could just go out and grab a bat like J.D Martinez or fill out their infield with the likes of Eric Hosmer. More than likely the Sox will tackle their mid-term pitching staff

As for other teams, I believe that the Cubs have too many pitching woes to worry about and should put their money towards that, I believe that Stanton truly doesn’t want to go to the Cardinals (nor do I think the Cards would give up the pitching talent Miami’s asking for), the Rockies are clearly not near the beaches, and one of the biggest Stanton contenders in San Francisco still has some injury riddled contracts to worry about and have the second most money committed for the 2018 season so not much wiggle room for Stanton’s salary.

So to wrap up, I believe that Giancarlo Stanton will be with Miami for at least one more season due to the massive contract anchor and given the fact that many teams have obligations in place for next year. The light at the end of the tunnel for Miami is that if Stanton stays for 2018, teams will have one year to gear up and prepare themselves for the Silver Slugger which could drastically help the Marlins with a Stanton deal in 2019.

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