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Giancarlo Stanton extension backloaded to give Marlins flexibility

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Miami's star right fielder chose to decrease his salary over the first few seasons of his extension in order to allow the organization to put key pieces around him.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami accomplished its first offseason goal by extending Giancarlo Stanton. And according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Stanton requested he be paid less over the first six years of his contract in order to give the Marlins more payroll flexibility.

While the contract Stanton received is notably large, the fact that he opted to be paid less over the first six years proves he is interested in winning now. Before negotiations started, Stanton made it clear that he wanted to play for a contender, and by accepting the deal made it known that he is content with the direction the organization is headed. Considering his 13 year, $325 million contract would have paid him at least $25 million annually, it is only fair that Stanton takes less so that the Marlins can improve the club.

Although he wants the organization to make all of the moves necessary to improve the roster, Stanton may not directly benefit from the early salary reduction. As Rosenthal noted, the deal is only worth $107 million over the first six years, and Stanton could opt-out beyond that. At that point in time, he might not leave $218 million on the table, but the first few figures likely benefit the Marlins considering the extension could have limited what they were able to spend on other players.

CBS' Jon Heyman was among the first to report the contract breakdown on Tuesday night.

Miami is looking to upgrade several positions, notably first and second base, and add an arm to the rotation this offseason. Stanton is likely earning less than he would have if he went through the arbitration process, but his decision may benefit the Marlins over the next few seasons.

Both the Marlins and Stanton want to win now, and the extension reflects that. The Marlins now have some room to work with after signing Stanton long term, and it will be up to them to take advantage of that.