The deal surpasses Miguel Cabrera’s 10-year, $292 million extension with the Detroit Tigers as the richest in North American professional sports history. It also reportedly includes an opt-out clause after the sixth year and a full no-trade clause.
The latter detail is a significant one, as the franchise hasn’t given no-trade clauses in the past.
"A landmark day. It means everything to the franchise," Loria told the Miami Herald by phone. "We have a face of the franchise for the next 13 years. I expect him to be a Marlin for 13 years. We are going to be surrounding him, we have already started to surround him, with all-star caliber players, and there will be more."
Since last offseason, Marlins executives have made it clear signing Stanton for the long term was the club’s main priority moving forward. During a time when the sport has seen offensive numbers go down, Stanton provides a dangerous power bat in the middle of the lineup. In 634 big-league games, Stanton has already matched the Marlins’ career home run record (154) set by Dan Uggla.
Miami went from 100 losses in 2013 to a National League wild-card contender in September prior to Stanton’s injury. The organization hopes to retain its talented young core as it seeks its first postseason berth since 2003.
Loria told the Miami Herald the Marlins can afford this move, and that the team needs another bat in the lineup to support him. Last winter, they signed free agents Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Garrett Jones to play catcher and first base, respectively.
It’s a different tale than in 2012, when the Marlins traded Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez after the team failed to gain any traction during its inaugural season in a new ballpark. Miami collected future mainstays in both its rotation and lineup, from shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to starters Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi.
"He obviously saw last year that the franchise was serious about winning and serious about doing great things in the new stadium," Loria told the Herald. "I talked to him [Monday] afternoon just after all the tests were completed. He passed with flying colors. I’m thrilled. What can I tell you? He’s a wonderful young guy and he’s a talent."
Stanton, who was not eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season, avoided arbitration last winter by agreeing to a one-year, $6.5 million deal.
As the runner-up in this year’s National League Most Valuable Player race, Stanton paced the league with 37 home runs and a .555 slugging percentage. His 105 RBI marked a career high and finished second behind Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. His season was cut short by a fastball to the face Sept. 11. Up to that point, he had started all 145 games.
Named an All-Star for the second time in his five-year career, Stanton has since garnered additional accolades for his play in 2014. He received the NL Hank Aaron Award, the NL Most Outstanding Player by the Players Choice Awards and an NL Silver Slugger. He was a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove.
Asked that night about rumors of a blockbuster deal, Stanton played it coy. He did mention the encouraging progress he has made since sustaining facial fractures from Milwaukee Brewers righty Mike Fiers.
"I did this for the city, the fans, for Giancarlo, our team, for myself and for baseball," Loria said.