11:20pm: The opt-out clause being negotiated is expected to become effective after the 2019 season, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. That would essentially make the deal a five-year pact that provides Stanton an eight-year player option, which would be a unique arrangement. Most recently agreed-upon opt-out clauses can be exercised after the bulk of the contract has already been performed.
2:42pm: The Marlins and Stanton are close to agreeing to terms on a 13-year, $325MM contract that is expected to contain a no-trade clause and an opt-out clause, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
9:36am: Heyman reports that the two sides are very serious about getting a deal done, suggesting that it could end up being for a whopping 13 years. The two sides are said to be on the same page regarding money, Heyman writes, but one or two non-monetary issues still need to be worked out — perhaps a no-trade clause and/or an opt-out clause. One source characterized the negotiations as being on the 10-yard line.
As Heyman notes, the Marlins feel an increased need to lock up Stanton due to the fact that they have become discouraged about their ability to sign right-hander Jose Fernandez to a long-term deal of his own.
8:40am: ESPN’s Buster Olney hears that one possibility that has been discussed is a 12-year, $325MM contract (ESPN Insider required and recommended). Olney also wonders how the frightening, season-ending injury to Stanton has affected his perspective and influenced his willingness to accept a deal like this. As Olney notes, Stanton acknowledged after the injury that had the fastball which struck his face hit him just millimeters in a different direction, his injury could have been career-threatening.
FRIDAY, 7:39am: Stanton and the Marlins have been discussing an extension in the 12-year, $320MM range, tweets Rosenthal.
Stanton could earn something in the $35MM range for his final two years of arbitration, even without the extension, so it seems that his free agent years are being valued under $30MM per season if those exact numbers hold.
THURSDAY, 5:14pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports hears that the $300MM+ deal being discussed could span as long as 12 years (Twitter link). That deal would run through Stanton’s age-36 season.
4:23pm: The Marlins and superstar right fielder Giancarlo Stanton are discussing a record-breaking $300MM contract extension that would span “at least” 10 seasons, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
The two sides have also discussed shorter contracts, according to Rosenthal’s sources, but it’s not surprising to see Stanton’s agent, Joel Wolfe of the Wasserman Media Group, eyeing a record-setting figure. Stanton, who somewhat incredibly just turned 25 years old last week, is under team control through the 2016 season as things currently stand and is projected to earn $13MM in arbitration next year.
While there will be plenty of cynics that point to the Marlins’ history of fire sales, Miami GM Dan Jennings indicated earlier this week that the Fish would potentially be open to breaking club policy and including a no-trade clause if it meant locking up the game’s premier power hitter.
A $300MM commitment would set the record for the largest contract in Major League history. Currently, Miguel Cabrera is owed $292MM over the life of his contract, although that was actually a $248MM extension on top of two guaranteed contract seasons. In terms of the most amount of “new money” ever guaranteed on a contract, Alex Rodriguez‘s 10-year, $275MM contract is still setting the bar. Other examples of $200MM+ contracts include 10-year, $240MM contracts to both Albert Pujols and Robinson Cano, a 10-year, $225MM extension for Joey Votto and a nine-year, $214MM pact for Prince Fielder serve as other examples of $200MM+ deals for hitters. (Clayton Kershaw signed a seven-year, $215MM extension with the Dodgers last offseason as well.)
Though the number is staggering, one thing separating Stanton from other $200MM+ deals for hitters is that a 10-year contract would cover a large portion of his prime and not much of his decline phase. Stanton would be 34 years old at the end of a 10-year pact, while players such as Rodriguez, Cabrera and Votto will be approaching or will have surpassed their 40th birthdays.
Stanton led the National League with 37 homers this season and is a lifetime .271/.364/.540 hitter with 154 homers in 634 games. His best season at the plate came this past year, when he batted .288/.395/.555 in 145 games before being struck in the face by a fastball — a frightening injury that ultimately cost him the remainder of the season. He’s one of the finalists for the NL MVP Award this season, though he’ll have to contend with Kershaw and Andrew McCutchen.