Marlins give Stanton richest deal in US sports
(AP) The Marlins persuaded Giancarlo Stanton to say yes. He couldn't afford to say no.
Stanton agreed to terms Monday on a $325 million, 13-year contract, team owner Jeffrey Loria said. It's the most lucrative deal for an American athlete and averages $25 million per season.
"It's a landmark moment for the franchise and Giancarlo," Loria said.
The deal includes a no-trade clause, and Stanton can opt out after six years, Loria said. A news conference was planned Wednesday.
The Marlins right fielder and centerpiece wasn't due to become eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season, and signing him to a long-term deal was considered a long shot. The Marlins haven't reached the playoffs since 2003, and he was distrustful of the franchise's direction.
Miami's 2014 payroll of $52.3 million was the lowest in the majors. The last time they spent big was before the 2012 season, the first in their new ballpark. Then came a disastrous season and salary purge, intensifying fan animosity toward Loria.
That sell-off and subsequent roster rebuilding set the stage for the Stanton deal, Loria said.
"Unfortunately people didn't understand that two years ago, we had no choice," the owner said. "I had to get to today."
Loria's frugal ways in the past angered the players' union and made the franchise the butt of jokes. Given such thriftiness, the generosity toward Stanton becomes even more stunning.
His contract tops the $292 million, 10-year deal Miguel Cabrera agreed to with the Detroit Tigers in March. Alex Rodriguez signed the largest previous deal, a $275 million, 10-year contract with the Yankees before the 2008 season.
Stanton, who turned 25 on Nov. 8, is perhaps the game's most feared slugger. He has 154 career homers, including 37 this year, despite playing home games in spacious Marlins Park.