Red Sox and Yankees fans can stop dreaming.
Giancarlo Stanton isn’t going anywhere — at least not for the next six years.
Owner Jeffrey Loria confirmed Monday that the Miami Marlins and the 25-year-old two-time All-Star slugger have reached a 13-year, $325 million deal, and a formal news conference will take place Wednesday.
“A landmark day. It means everything to the franchise,” Loria told the Miami Herald by phone. “We have a face of the franchise for the next 13 years.
“I expect him to be a Marlin for 13 years. We are going to be surrounding him, we have already started to surround him, with All-Star-caliber players, and there will be more.”
News of the record contract first began to trickle out Friday. Monday, Loria confirmed the deal was officially done. Stanton, as previously reported, will have an opt-out in the contract after the 2020 season, making him and American League MVP Mike Trout free agents the same winter if he chooses.
But Loria believes Stanton will be here for the full duration of the contract.
“He obviously saw last year that the franchise was serious about winning and serious about doing great things in the new stadium,” Loria said. “I talked to him [Monday] afternoon just after all the tests were completed. He passed with flying colors. I’m thrilled. What can I tell you? He’s a wonderful young guy and he’s a talent.”
How can a penny-pinching team such as the Marlins, which hasn’t spent this much money before or an entire roster, afford this?
“We can afford it,” Loria said. “We are going to surround him with an improved lineup as well. We need another bat in this lineup that can help him out.”
Richest contracts in MLB history (total value)
Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
Robinson Cano, Mariners
Albert Pujols, Angels
Stanton, the runner-up in the National League MVP race, has been in South Florida the past few days and attended Saturday’s University of Miami-Florida State game at Sun Life Stadium.
He declined to comment about his contract but did talk about his recovery since being struck in the face by a pitch Sept. 11 that ended his season 17 games early. Stanton said it was going well and “soon there won’t be any scars” on his face and cheek.
He’ll certainly have enough money in the bank soon to get whatever he needs. His contract is the richest in baseball and North American Sports history — surpassing the $10-year, $275 million deal Alex Rodriguez signed with the Yankees, and the $292 million deal Miguel Cabrera signed with the Tigers in March.
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. He hit .288 with 37 home runs and 105 RBI in 145 games.
Richest contracts ever for South Florida’s pro teams (total value)
Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton, 2014
Heat: Chris Bosh, 2014
Dolphins: Mike Wallace, 2013
Panthers: Pavel Bure, 1999
Note: Reflects contracts signed with the team, not inherited.
Signing Stanton to a long-term deal was once seen as a long shot for the frugal Marlins. Baseball powers such as the Red Sox and Yankees — and their beat writers — were lining up prospects with the idea the Marlins would eventually ship Stanton out when he got too pricey.
But Marlins ownership has stepped up in a way it never has for a ballplayer.
Stanton’s $325 million deal is more than the Marlins have spent combined on their entire major-league roster the past five seasons ($303 million). And 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 Loria.
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 has essentially protected himself from the Marlins being cheap or not giving him much in the way of help with the reported opt-out clause. He also protected himself from being traded to a team he doesn’t want to be traded to with the no-trade clause.
Before his season ended early after he was hit by the pitch Sept. 11, Stanton led the NL in home runs (37), slugging percentage (.555), OPS (.950), total bases (299), extra-base hits (99), runs batted in (105), walks (94), at-bats per home run (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.
Along with Trout and Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen, the 2013 NL MVP, there are few more sought-after young talents in the game than Stanton. Now, the Marlins know he’ll be theirs for at least the next six years.
Without a deal, he would have been eligible for free agency after the 2016 season.
Said Loria: “I did this for the city, the fans, for Giancarlo, our team, for myself and for baseball.”