How Giancarlo Stanton Signing Affects Mets
In case you’re just now returning from an African safari tour, the Miami Marlins signed Giancarlo Stanton to a 13-year, $325M contract.
How does this historic signing affect the Mets?
First off, the obvious: no way, no how, will the Mets be obtaining Stanton in a trade with Miami this winter. Surely you heard various rumors since last winter suggesting that the Mets might have a chance to secure the superstar outfielder, and now those pipe dreams are squashed indefinitely. Even if the Mets had ten Kevin Plawecki‘s and five Rafael Montero‘s to offer, no deal would happen — mainly because the Mets wouldn’t ever take on that kind of contract, and secondarily because the Marlins have established that they are committed to Stanton and the city of Miami for the long term.
Secondly, and more importantly, the Marlins are serious about winning.
Remember how gleeful you were when the Mets finished the 2014 season in second place, tied with the Braves and two whole games ahead of the Marlins? And remember how that tied-for-second-place finish meant that the Mets took a step forward, and were poised to grab a playoff berth in 2015 — because, surely, everyone else in the NL East will either stay the same or get worse, while the Mets will continue stomping forward? Not so fast. Giancarlo Stanton didn’t sign a 13-year contract to be miserable in Miami. He’s expecting big moves in the coming months to improve the team around him, and Marlins owner Jeff Loria publicly stated as much, speaking with the Miami Herald:
“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.
“He obviously saw last year that the franchise was serious about winning and serious about doing great things in the new stadium … We can afford it. We are going to surround him with an improved lineup as well. We need another bat in this lineup that can help him out.”
Oh sure, you can’t trust Jeffrey Loria any further than you can throw him, right? Maybe so. But then again, maybe Loria has always been serious about winning, but merely took the Do It Wrong Quickly
approach when he dismantled his club only two years ago. When Loria made that monster deal with the Blue Jays, it was by design — he purposely signed Jose Reyes, among others, to contracts that allowed Loria an “out” in case things didn’t go well. It’s a strategy he’s employed time and again through the years: spend big, but be quick to cut losses if the losses pile up. This time around, there’s no “out clause” for Loria — not for at least six seasons anyway (when Stanton has the ability to opt-out if he chooses). Stanton has a no-trade clause — the only one on the team, and the only one in years — and his contract is heavily backloaded for the sole purpose of providing Miami the flexibility to spend on other players during his prime years. Add together the payroll flexibility and the fact that ace starter Jose Fernandez (and client of Scott Boras) becomes a free agent in 2018, and it’s clear that the Marlins’ window to make a charge toward a World Championship begins now.
We’ll find out very soon just how serious Loria is about winning — as soon as the next two months. A week ago, with Stanton’s future as a Fish uncertain, the Braves resembling a boxer trying to stand up from an eight-count, and the Mets fresh off the signing of Michael Cuddyer, a second consecutive second-place finish in the NL East was looking very plausible from the Flushing perspective. Suddenly, though, it’s apparent that the Mets’ path to the postseason will be no cakewalk. The Braves made two trades to start what will be a busy offseason of reloading, and the Marlins made a very loud commitment to winning. At least the Phillies still appear to be wandering without a compass.
What say you? Do you see Stanton’s signing as the start of more bold moves by Miami? Do you doubt Loria’s commitment? Do you think the Mets need to — and will — make more moves to keep up with the rest of the NL East? Sound off in the comments.