Giancarlo Stanton might require a substantially larger wallet.
Stanton, one of the majors’ premier home run sluggers, agreed Friday on a one-year deal with the Marlins that will pay him $6.5 million.
In the process, Stanton and the Marlins avoided going to a hearing and having his 2014 salary determined by an independent arbitrator.
The two sides worked out the agreement minutes before Friday’s 1 p.m. deadline for the more than 140 big-league players eligible for arbitration.
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The Marlins also got one-year deals done with their other two arbitration players, closer Steve Cishek and left-handed reliever Mike Dunn.
Cishek agreed on a $3.8 million deal. and Dunn settled for $1.4 million.
Stanton’s contract includes a bonus incentive that will pay him an additional $100,000 if he totals at least 600 plate appearances, according to Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com.
While Stanton will be the highest-paid player on the Marlins’ roster, barely edging out catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia ($6 million next season), he will not be the team’s most expensive obligation.
The Marlins are required to pay $7 million to former closer Heath Bell as part of their 2012 trade to unload him on Arizona.
Stanton is coming off a season in which he experienced a power drop-off, going from 37 home runs in 2012 to only 24 last season. As such, Stanton did not put up the sort of numbers that might have enabled him to break the team salary record for a player in his first year of arbitration.
That mark belongs to Miguel Cabrera, who was awarded $7.4 million by an arbitrator in 2007.
Stanton has two arbitration years remaining before he is eligible for free agency, and the Marlins will likely be forced to make a decision on whether or not to offer him an extension after the ’14 season.
If they don’t — or if Stanton refuses to accept any offer — the Marlins would likely trade him while his value is high.
In other words, Stanton’s new contract could also be his last with the team.