Done Deal: Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins agree on the biggest contract in baseball history

124 Comments

Word came over the weekend that it was coming and now it is reportedly done: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the 13-year, $325 million contract between Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins is officially “in place.” It won’t be publicly announced by the team until later this week, likely so that a press conference can be arranged.

The money is notable, but in reality it’s a natural tick up from the last biggest deal in baseball history, that being Miguel Cabrera’s $290 million+ pact with the Tigers. Stanton is younger and the deal is longer, of course, but this is not, contrary to what you’ll hear in the coming days, paradigm-breaking or some new high watermark in player greed, owner foolishness or anything like that. Baseball’s revenues are up dramatically. It was inevitable that a young, talented player was going to make a some serious bank like this eventually.

What is notable is the structure. Stanton, who is now 25, can opt out of the deal not long after he turns 30. Alex Rodriguez had a similar opt-out provision in his original $250 million deal he signed to join the Rangers. He exercised that opt-out in 2007 and signed an even bigger deal. Stanton, should he continue to be the top slugger in baseball could do the same. It could also lead the famously fire-selling Jeff Loria to move Stanton as that time approaches. And, even if this deal seems gigantic now, it’s a movable contract, I reckon, if Stanton remains elite.

And if he isn’t the top slugger? If he becomes an OK but not great power hitter like some have in the past? Well, then the Marlins are on the hook for a long, long time for an awful lot of money.

Still, I think I’d rather gamble $325 million on Stanton at 25 than a lot of other free agents closer to 30. And if I am the Miami Marlins — a team with a lot of young talent but in search of credibility and some genuine devotion from its often-burned fan base  — it’s not a bad gamble to take.

Astros greeted with boos in first spring training game

Astros
Getty Images
13 Comments

The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.

Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.

There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.

That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.

The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.

One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.

Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.

Follow @StelliniTweets.