Pirates president on Giancarlo Stanton contract extension: “It’s not really $325 million”

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There’s an interesting story tucked into Rob Biertempfel’s latest notebook for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review regarding the Marlins’ expectations for their record 13-year, $325 million contract extension with slugger Giancarlo Stanton. That contact is heavily backloaded — Stanton gets just $6.5 million in 2015 and $9 million in 2016 — and it also includes an opt-out clause that will become available following the 2020 season. See where this is going? The ever-slimy Marlins higher-ups appear to be banking on Stanton leaving Miami after the first six relatively-inexpensive years of the 13-year deal. Biertempfel brings the dirt from this weekend’s annual PirateFest …

When asked for his reaction to Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million extension, president Frank Coonelly chuckled and said, “It seems like Monopoly money, doesn’t it?”

Coonelly then got off his stool on the stage and stepped toward the crowd. He talked about an exchange he had with Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson during the recent owner’s meetings.

“They thought it was a great deal,” Coonelly said. “I just couldn’t get my head around the $325 million. They said to me, ‘You don’t understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.'”

Stanton would be turning down seven years, $218 million at that point, but he will only be 30 years old and maybe he’ll be so fed up with Marlins ownership that he does decide to leave all that money on the table.

Or maybe this is a case of Coonelly deflecting criticism from fans about the Pirates’ own lack of spending.