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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Giancarlo Stanton $325 million 13 year contract: legit or scam?

Giancarlo Stanton signed that contract yesterday.  He can opt out but not until year six, which by then may be not such big bucks or may be no bucks if his team, the Florida Marlins, default.

Yesterday when I first heard that the contract was back loaded I thought that the Marlins owner was doing estate planning and intended to sell within a few years or until the contract started to benefit the player and not the owner.  The owner doesn't care if there are big bucks owed in several years if he does not expect to be the owner when stuff hits the fan.

I continue to be amazed at how many otherwise intelligent and educated people assure us that:
1. player compensation will only increase
2. TV revenue will only increase
3. contracts are iron clad
4. the money owed to players in the distant future is assured because it's in the contract.

Sounds like real estate and/or finance.

Bryce Harper April 2013
by Stegas4 via
Wikimedia Commons
I can see that Stanton had to take all that money.  What I don't understand is why he and his representative allowed the team to pay him so relatively little in the first few years.

In 2014 Stanton received $6.5 million.  In 2015, the first year of the new 13 year contract, Stanton will receive $6.5 million.  Say what?  Same pay after an MVP quality season.  No raise.  What the heck?

Stanton thinks this will let the team add good players so that they can build a winner.  Or it could be that Stanton is being played for a fool.  Then Stanton gets $9 million in 2016, then $14.4 million.  Then in 2018 at age 28 Stanton starts to receive pay that ranges between $25 and $32 million through 2028, age 38.  Here is Stanton's pay schedule followed by that for other prominent players, including Bryce Harper who is not yet eligible for salary arbitration and has yet to sign a big extension:

Stanton:
201525Miami Marlins$6,500,000
201626Miami Marlins$9,000,000
201727Miami Marlins$14,500,000
201828Miami Marlins$25,000,000
201929Miami Marlins$26,000,000
202030Miami Marlins$26,000,000may opt out of contract following 2020 season
202131Miami Marlins$29,000,000
202232Miami Marlins$29,000,000
202333Miami Marlins$32,000,000
202434Miami Marlins$32,000,000
202535Miami Marlins$32,000,000
202636Miami Marlins$29,000,000
202737Miami Marlins$25,000,000
202838Miami Marlins*$25,000,000
Here's the pay schedule for:
Mike Trout:
201523Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$5,250,000
201624Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$15,250,000
201725Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$19,250,000
201826Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$33,250,000
201927Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$33,250,000
202028Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$33,250,000

Albert Pujols:
201535Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$24,000,000
201636Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$25,000,000
201737Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$26,000,000
201838Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$27,000,000
201939Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$28,000,000
202040Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$29,000,000
202141Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim$30,000,000
 Miguel Cabrera:
201532Detroit Tigers$22,000,000
201633Detroit Tigers$28,000,000
201734Detroit Tigers$28,000,000
201835Detroit Tigers$30,000,000
201936Detroit Tigers$30,000,000
202037Detroit Tigers$30,000,000
202138Detroit Tigers$30,000,000
202239Detroit Tigers$32,000,000
202340Detroit Tigers$32,000,000
202441Detroit Tigers*$30,000,000
202542Detroit Tigers*$30,000,000

Bryce Harper:
201522Washington Nationals$2,250,0002.159
Earliest Arb Eligible: 2016, Earliest Free Agent: 2019
Career to date (may be incomplete)$5,150,000Does not include future salaries ($2.25M)
In 2018:
Trout $32 million
Cabrera $30 million
Pujols $27 million
Stanton $25 million
Harper ???; last year before free agency

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