Giancarlo Stanton is reportedly on the verge of finalizing the richest contract in baseball history — and to be a Miami Marlin for a very long time.
According to a report from CBSSports.com, Stanton, 25, has agreed to terms on a whopping 13-year, $325 million contract. It includes a no-trade clause and an opt-out clause that allows this year’s National League MVP runner-up to leave after a certain number of years – believed to be five – if he chooses.
According to CBSSports, only language remains to be finalized in the deal before Stanton signs it. Without the deal, Stanton would be eligible for free agency in two years. Now, it looks like he will be here at least until he turns 30.
The Marlins, who had the lowest payroll in baseball this past season at close to $42 million, have been eager to secure a long-term commitment from Stanton, widely recognized as the most feared home run hitter in the majors.
The Marlins were privately optimistic Stanton would agree to the contract. Stanton and his agent Joe Wolfe have declined comment when reached by the Miami Herald.
A two-time All-Star, Stanton led the National League with 37 home runs and slugged five of the 20 longest home runs hit this season according to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker.
Signing Stanton to a long-term deal was once seen as a long shot for the penny-pinching Marlins. But ownership has stepped up in a way it never has for a ballplayer.
With the exception of pitcher Javier Vazquez, the Marlins have steadfastly refused to grant no-trade protection to any of their free-agent signings under owner Jeffrey Loria.
Stanton’s $325 million deal would be more than the Marlins have spent combined on their entire major-league roster the past five seasons ($303 million). It also would be the richest deal signed in North American Sports, topping the one made by Miami native Alex Rodriguez ($275 million, 10 years) with the Yankees in 2007.
Stanton was upset when the Marlins had a fire sale in November 2012, purging $146.5 million off their payroll only 10 months after they had gone on a free agent signing frenzy.
Stanton hit .288 with 37 home runs and 105 RBI in 145 games before his season ended Sept. 11 when he was struck in the face with a pitch against Milwaukee.
At the time of his injury, Stanton led the NL in home runs (37), slugging percentage (.555), OPS (.950), total bases (299), extra-base hits (99), RBI (105), walks (94), at-bats per HR (14.5) and was on pace to become the first player to lead the NL in homers, RBI and slugging percentage since Dante Bichette in 1995.
Stanton ended up finishing first in the NL in home runs and slugging percentage but second in RBI behind the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez, who had 116.
Stanton finished second in the MVP race to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on Thursday.