Giancarlo Stanton sat in a California hotel room last offseason refusing to sign any form of a long-term extension unless he was convinced change was coming. He demanded there be some form of stability and the Marlins sat and explained each move they were going to make throughout the winter in order to ensure this season was better than the last.
Stanton sought consistency and was promised it. As one of the games premiere talents, Stanton knew that if he did not accept Miami's proposal, there would be several other teams in pursuit of his bat. The Marlins signed Stanton to a 13-year, $325 million deal, the largest contract in North American sports history. At that time, Mike Redmond was the manager. At that time, Redmond had already received a three-year extension. At that time, Stanton was ensured he would have more talent around him than ever before.
A lot has changed since that West Coast meeting. The Marlins kept their promise and upgraded the roster, adding Dan Haren, Mat Latos, Dee Gordon, Michael Morse, and Martin Prado. But the club has also had difficulty winning games as a result of injuries and inconsistencies. And after firing Mike Redmond on Sunday, the Marlins named General Manager Dan Jennings the new manager on Monday. Quickly dismissing the well-liked manager was likely not something Stanton expected.
When Stanton accepted the contract extension, he was told things would change. Trading away core players would not be realistic and doing everything to ensure the club is successful would be a goal. Perhaps the Marlins need change and feel moving Jennings from the front office to the dugout will help the club succeed. Time will make that known. Stanton was extended by the "new" Marlins. Firing Redmond, which had likely been considered since a 3-11 start, is a move of the old Marlins.
Although he has not made his mindset clear, maybe Stanton encouraged the Marlins to make a managerial change. In April, he told reporters the club "lacked fire." Around the same time, rumors with regard to Redmond's job status appeared. Stanton was never known to have a problem with Redmond. Maybe something changed this season.
Stanton's contract has an opt-out clause after the sixth season, something he requested in order to be safe if the "new" Marlins are comparable to the older ones. Miami extended Christian Yelich and is confident in its core. But if the Marlins are not stable by the end of the season, Stanton may only remain in South Florida for as long as he is required to.
While the Marlins were successfully able to extend Yelich and Stanton, there are several others deals the organization has been attempting to get done. Miami wants Adeiny Hechavarria, Jose Fernandez, and Marcell Ozuna to remain in Miami for long time, too. But firing Redmond will likely make getting those extensions done even more of a challenge.
There is already a new plan and more change may be coming to Miami soon. Extensions could be challenging and Stanton may opt out. But there is still time for the Marlins to prove they are striving for stability and consistency.