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Sorry, Giancarlo Stanton, You’re Just Not Worth It

Victor Figueroa |
November 17, 2014 | 4:32 p.m. PST

Staff Contributor

Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins have agreed on what will be the biggest player contract in MLB history, reports CBS Sports. This begs fans and analysts to wonder if the 25-year-old phenom is worth the massive offer. And the answer lies within another obvious question: Has a player ever been worth it?

Now I don’t want to take away or undermine Stanton’s accomplishments. The right fielder is definitely owed some money after coming in second for this year’s NL MVP: hitting .288 average, 37 home runs, and 105 RBIs.

Also, he’s not a bad investment. The Marlins slugger has hit over 154 home runs his first five years in the league; that’s serious power for a player in the post-steroids era. Plus, the organization is moving in the right direction in making Stanton their future centerpiece - he's still only 25 years old.

But reports say the team is offering Stanton a whopping $325 million over 13 years. Wait, let me say that last bit again.

$325 million for 13 YEARS!!!

Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez (when he signed with the Texas Rangers) are the only players to really come through on their 10+ year contracts, but Jeter’s contract was for $19 million a year (Stanton’s is $25 million a year) and, by the time he signed, Jeter had already led the Yankees to four World Series Championships. And well we all know why Rodriguez was so good…

Also how can the team afford this? The Marlins aren’t the Yankees or Dodgers when it comes to salary. Since Stanton has been on the team, the Marlins have averaged a little over $60 million payroll, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. The team entered 2014 with the second lowest payroll at around $46 million. Stanton’s $25 million-a-year average would eat up half the team’s payroll. The financial maneuvering is simply impractical unless the Marlins increase their payroll dramatically.

Even more important than the financial logistics, is the fact that these contracts rarely ever work. Albert Pujols is the most obvious example right now. He has had three disappointing seasons to start his Angels career after signing a 10-year, $240 million contract. Pujols may still have time to put together a few decent seasons, but I wouldn’t count on seeing the Pujols of old at age 34. At least A-Rod started off his gargantuan $275 million Yankees contract with a few productive seasons, and was a major contributor to the Yankees' 2009 World Series team. But again we know whatand how he did it… I also don’t see Robinson Cano’s or Joey Votto’s 10-year deals panning out: both of them currently over thirty.

SEE ALSO: Kershaw Captures Cy Young, MVP Double, But Was It Deserved?

But I must admit, the Marlins were smart in signing Stanton now, with his peak years still ahead of him. But why for 13 f---ing years? That’s two years more than the longest contract in baseball history (Colorado Rockies’ Todd Helton owns the longest at 11 years). I understand the Marlins are making up for recent mistakes like letting shortstop Jose Reyes and pitcher Mark Buehrle go, but why not sign him for nine, even 10 years?

Moreover, did no one consider the elephant in the room in that Stanton is coming off major facial reconstructive surgery that forced him to miss the final weeks of the season? I mean Stanton is not a picture-perfect example of healthy consistency. While I wouldn’t expect Ripken-esque Iron Man numbers from him, Stanton has missed an average of 28 games in his first four full seasons and that state usually doesn’t get better with age.

Reports do say that Stanton can opt-out sometime between five-seven years, but at that time Stanton will be over 30, his prime likely behind him. Unless Stanton wants to take a pay cut, the Marlins are stuck with 13 years of Stanton, good or bad, at an average of $25 mil a year.

But the one thing that really makes this deal bad is the simple fact that a lot can happen in 13 years. Who knows if Stanton ages well? Now that Jeter is gone, is there anyone in baseball that has produced over a long period of time and still is? Miguel Cabrera? David Ortiz perhaps? Stanton doesn’t have their big body frame for long-lasting power hitting.

Whether it’s five, seven, even nine years down the line, the Marlins are going to feel the seeds of regret in signing Stanton for 13 years. Stanton is great, but 13 years great? Well I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

Reach Contributor Victor Figueroa here or follow him on Twitter



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