The Giancarlo Stanton feeding frenzy is about to begin

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Giancarlo Stanton hit his 50th home run of the season yesterday and, at age 27, is putting up a career year, leading the league in homers, RBI, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+. He’s always had tremendous power and tremendous promise. It’s amazing what health will do when thrown into the mix. At the same time, Stanton plays for the Miami Marlins who are in the process of being sold and will soon have a new baseball operations group who may not think that devoting close to $300 million to one player is a great idea.

There are pros and cons to keeping or trading Stanton away, but all of baseball is watching Stanton rake and, if he does become available, there are going to be a a boat load of teams with an interest in him. Some, Bob Nightengale reports, have already called:

The San Francisco Giants recently called, and privately informed the Miami Marlins of their interest. So have the St. Louis Cardinals. The Texas Rangers. The Philadelphia Phillies didn’t want to be left out, either. They all have one thing in mind. They want Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, and while it’s not realistic now, it could be by the start of the 2018 season.

Stanton has cleared revocable waivers, so he’s eligible to be dealt to any club. That he wasn’t claimed, however, meant that no club is willing to risk simply assuming Stanton’s $285 million deal if the Marlins just let him walk. It’s doubtful that the Marlins would do that, however, as a trade of Stanton would work better as the major move of a rebuilding effort. It’s already hard to sell Marlins tickets with Stanton as a draw. It’ll be harder to sell tickets to Marlins games without Stanton as a draw. If the new owners did that AND simply dumped him for financial purposes without getting some hope for the future in return, they’d be run out of town on a rail before they put their suitcases down.

So no, a Stanton trade is not going to be easy to make, if indeed the Marlins wish to trade him. But it certainly seems like talk of a Stanton trade is going to dominate the offseason.



AP Source: Minor leaguers reach five-year labor deal with MLB

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
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NEW YORK – Minor league players reached a historic initial collective bargaining agreement with Major League Baseball on Wednesday that will more than double player salaries, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details were not announced.

As part of the five-year deal, MLB agreed during the contract not to reduce minor league affiliates from the current 120.

The sides reached the deal two days before the start of the minor league season and hours after a federal judge gave final approval to a $185 million settlement reached with MLB last May of a lawsuit filed in 2014 alleging violations of federal minimum wage laws.

Union staff recommended approval and about 5,500 minor leaguers were expected to vote on Thursday. MLB teams must also vote to approve and are expected to do so over the next week.

Minimum salaries will rise from $4,800 to $19,800 at rookie ball, $11,000 to $26,200 at Low Class A, $11,000 to $27,300 at High Class A, $13,800 to $27,300 at Double A and $17,500 to $45,800 at Triple-A. Players will be paid in the offseason for the first time.

Most players will be guaranteed housing, and players at Double-A and Triple-A will be given a single room. Players below Double-A will have the option of exchanging club housing for a stipend. The domestic violence and drug policies will be covered by the union agreement. Players who sign for the first time at 19 or older can become minor league free agents after six seasons instead of seven.

Major leaguers have been covered by a labor contract since 1968 and the average salary has soared from $17,000 in 1967 to an average of $4.22 million last season. Full-season minor leaguers earned as little as $10,400 last year.

The Major League Baseball Players Association took over as the bargaining representative of the roughly 5,500 players with minor league contracts last September after a lightning 17-day organization drive.

Minor leaguers players will receive four weeks of retroactive spring training pay for this year. They will get $625 weekly for spring training and offseason training camp and $250 weekly for offseason workouts at home.

Beginning in 2024, teams can have a maximum of 165 players under contract during the season and 175 during the offseason, down from the current 190 and 180.

The union will take over group licensing rights for players.

Negotiating for players was led by Tony Clark, Bruce Meyer, Harry Marino, Ian Penny and Matt Nussbaum. MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem headed management’s bargainers.