Miami Marlins Season Preview: Marlins Considering Giancarlo Stanton Extension

Mar 6, 2012; Jupiter, FL. USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) connects for a base hit against the Detroit Tigers at Roger Dean Stadium. The Tigers defeated the Marlins 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

If you have been around since the time I took over at Fish Stripes, you would know that I have been on the front lines of the "extend (now rechristened) Giancarlo Stanton" bandwagon. Note the articles listed here and here previously. As you can expect, I was excited to see news of this Tweet by Buster Olney (H/T MLB Daily Dish).

By the way: The Marlins have talked about presenting a big, crooked number in a contract offer to Giancarlo Stanton, sometime soon.
Mar 08 via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Aside from the fact that I am not certain what a "big, crooked number" looks like or whether the crooked nature of the number is a good or bad thing, this is great news for Marlins fans. I have already discussed the reasons why an extension for Stanton at this point would be highly beneficial to the Marlins: the Fish would get a future star into his free agent years while being able to bypass potentially extremely heavy costs during arbitration. And for those who question whether a player like Stanton would agree to such a deal, there are examples throughout baseball of players who valued the continuity of staying on their team and the assurance of a decent payda over the possibility of greater sums in the future. For every Prince Fielder who takes his team (mostly) through the arbitration process, there are multiple other players who relish signing long-term with their teams.

The examples of the recent pre-arbitration, long-term extensions for outfielders are a plenty. Here are just a few listed by MLB Daily Dish's Satchel Price.

Considering that [Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen] signed for $51.5 million with two years of service time, Stanton should be able to get an absolutely massive deal even though he's at least five years from reaching free agency. Obvious comparisons for Stanton include McCutchen, Justin Upton (signed for $50 million), Jay Bruce ($51 million) and Carlos Gonzalez ($80 million).

You can add onto that list names like Ryan Braun, whom I used as a prime example for a contract extension for Stanton. Here are the contracts for the players listed above:

Player Status When Signed Years Total $ (Mil)
Ryan Braun Pre-Arb 2 8 45
Jay Bruce Arb 1 6 51
Carlos Gonzalez Arb 1 7 80
Andrew McCutchen Pre-Arb 3 6 51
Justin Upton Pre-Arb 3 6 51

Three of these deals looked very similar and were likely designed for players who were valued very similarly. The other two were valued at superstar level and received longer extensions for more money. On average, these are how the years turned out for each of the players' extensions:

Year Players Receiving $ (Mil)
Pre-Arb 2 1 (Braun) 0.5
Pre-Arb 3 / Arb 1 (if Super 2) 3 0.8
Arb 1 5 3
Arb 2 5 5.9
Arb 3 5 8.4
FA 1 5 11.6
FA 2 5 13.6
FA 3 3 14.2
FA 4 1 (Gonzalez) 20

Just based on this group of five players and the precedent they set, we could have basis for a contract for Stanton. Indeed, my proposed contract is very similar to the one that could be offered to Stanton in this case. Assuming he qualifies for Super 2 and receives a $1.2 million payday in his third arbitration season, the team could sign him to a deal this offseason that, based on the precedent the above contracts set, would be worth seven years and $44.2 million, which is actually smaller than the seven-year, $64 million contract I proposed earlier this offseason. However, the pay scale I proposed actually looks similar, if a bit shifted, which could have something to do with the uncertainty of whether certain players were scheduled to receive Super 2 status or not. A seven-year deal that encompasses the possibility of a Super 2 status may actually look closer to seven years and $57.2 million, which seems more appropriate for Stanton.

Either way, these deals are fairly comparable and will serve as the basis for that "big, crooked number" the Marlins will eventually offer Stanton. I for one am excited to see when the Fish decide to offer a deal, because the Fish have an opportunity to secure the future of their franchise for a long time by keeping Stanton happy, and it is an opportunity that will only get more expensive as we go forward.

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