The signing of a 13 year $325M dollar deal will get you a lot of attention. Some of it will be negative.
It seems that, no matter what you do, you won’t be able to silence the cynics. In today’s society, with social media and all of its pressures, it is required that in order to get attention you have to say and/or do inflammatory things. One would think that a talent like Giancarlo Stanton, signing to stay with the original team that drafted him, would be a good story to hear about. Instead there is nothing but envy and doubt being spewed across the TV screens.
That is because it is this constant “negging” or negative cynicism that wins the day. It is the same behavior one would come across on the Internet usually referred to as “trolling”. ESPN is filled with the doubters. Even MLBTV, with their Intentional Talk show, has questioned the signing and whether or not the Marlins would be able to build a winner with this contract in place.
Go ahead and laugh at them now. It is extremely embarrassing how all of these “experts” continuously get it wrong. After all, they get paid for their opinions and rarely are they right.
Stanton now is the face of the franchise and much like Lebron James did for the Heat, he will become an excellent bartering chip when it comes to recruiting players. Before, the Marlins were handicapped by the Jeffrey Loria factor. Most on the outside refused to acknowledge that he wants to win, while those who played for him never questioned it. With Stanton set on the roster for the next thirteen years (that’s right, I don’t think he is going anywhere) there will be a lot of interest in coming to south Florida.
With his immense power and promise, hitters will get better opportunities to be productive. Casey McGehee was able to drive in a lot of runs last year because he was hitting behind Stanton. Guys like Adam LaRoche, who actually has proven himself to be a solid run producer (despite my disdain for his Beaker-like muppet appearance), may change their plans and come to Miami. In the past, there was little chance of that but with an elite player like Stanton, players are certainly going to be open to it.
Let’s not forget one thing about this signing – it was not an easy deal. Stanton admitted that he had to really think about it; this was not, for him, about the money. It was about a commitment to winning. His comment earlier in the season about 5 months not erasing 5 years, along with the infamous tweet post-Blue Jay trade in 2012, demonstrate that. He was distrustful of this franchise – and had absolutely no reason to back Loria and his crew. Yet, he underscored this support by taking this 13 year deal. In fact, reports are that it was Stanton who insisted on the 13 years. In an interview with ESPN, Stanton admitted that he wanted this to be about a commitment to winning and with only a 6 year deal in place, the Marlins could only be setting things up for another fire sale down the road.
Stanton is right. If this was the past, the Marlins could sign Stanton, play low ball for a few years and eventually trade Stanton to move on to another money-grabbing scam. Yet this was never the intention of this franchise or the owner, despite others’ reports to the contrary. It is pure, unadulterated bias and perhaps even hatred that has misshapen perspective on this deal. If the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers made this deal, everyone would be praising it. They would be getting one of the elite power hitters in the game for 13 more years – despite the fact that he is still only 25 years old. This has the chance to be historical and if a big market team had pulled this off, it would be plastered everywhere and hailed. GMs would be approaching immortality as a result.
Instead, it is the lowly Marlins who get to keep Stanton. Does this franchise get the praise it deserves? Not yet. Much like winning the 2003 World Series, this wasn’t supposed to happen. The script was supposed to be different. It was the rich who were supposed to be rewarded, not the small market teams. All the Marlins did was show the Pirates, Royals, Brewers, or any other “small market” team what they should do – go out and find a franchise player and treat him like one. Admittedly, it took the Marlins a long time to do this. Many will point that Miguel Cabrera” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Cabrera” target=”_blank” rel=”wikipedia”>Miguel Cabrera was pretty good, too – but that was a far different situation than the Marlins are currently in.
Despite all of the hype of the NFL and the sizzle that may be tied to the Lebron James League aka the NBA, MLB still does it right. They let their teams figure out what they want to pay their players and stay out of the way. Nothing is more American than laissez-faire economics; at least it used to be. Even MLB has revenue-sharing to help boost teams that are in the ‘small market’ alleyways.
At the end of the day, if you build it, they will come. Not the other way around. The Marlins learned this the hard way. They tried to accelerate things in 2012 and it failed. They took egg on their face for it, and rightfully so. People felt duped. Yet here they are, just two years later, and they have kept their most prized young talent and locked him up in such a way that he will play out his days as a Marlin. Stanton will stay past the 6 year opt out because he is going to be guaranteed more money. If anything, he may opt out to get even more money. Regardless, he is sticking around. He wanted it that way and he forced the Marlins into making that deal – and it wasn’t really forced, either. You see, the Marlins have been quite honest about their intentions all along; you just refused to listen.
Now MLB and all of the media hype machines have to do what they never wanted to – admit there is a franchise in Miami and that the team there is going to be quite a special one. Now they will have to give an all-star game to Miami; now they will have to put their games on the big channels to showcase this team. Signing a contract for $325M creates a lot of attention. It also boosts the value of your franchise up immensely. The Marlins did this the right way, they developed their talent and found the right one to build around. Other franchise have to leech off of each other to find that possible fit. Giancarlo Stanton not only changed the fortunes of this franchise, but he could very well serve as a trend setter around the league. Teams will now start thinking about their own internal solutions and possibly look to lock them up into monolithic contracts. Why haven’t the Angels locked up Mike Trout for 13 years?
The Marlins will now turn their attention to keeping young talents like Christian Yelich and Adeiny Hechavarria” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adeiny_Hechavarria” target=”_blank” rel=”wikipedia”>Adeiny Hechavarria. Jose Fernandez is another guy who may, in the past, have skipped town without thinking twice because agent Scott Boras always looks for the big contracts. Now that the Marlins have ponied up for Stanton, there is reason to believe that maybe the Marlins could offer the best deal.
This is a game changer. The Marlins will now emerge as a viable baseball destination not just for players around the league, but also, more importantly, for its fans. Gone are the days when we are threatened with contraction because we have our own stadium. Gone now, are those days when we were threatened and teased about how long until Stanton was going to remain in a Marlins uniform – and how nice he would look in Dodger blue. Enjoy Man-Puig, Dodger fans. We got a legit player already and have no need of yours.
Let the rest of the baseball word turn green with envy; let the wise see it for what it is – a significant change for a franchise in desperate need of it.