Marlins Should Offer Giancarlo Stanton $200 Million

Tonight the Miami Marlins should call up Giancarlo Stanton's agent and offer the ballplayer a $200 million contract. Yes, tonight. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not this off-season. Tonight.

It's becoming increasingly clear that one surprisingly not-totally-crappy Miami Marlins season is not enough to convince Giancarlo Stanton that Miami is the place to spend his career. The Marlins need to ante up, call his bluff, and make an immediate attempt to show him they believe in him and want to pay him like the superstar he is.

The Marlins should put the ball in Stanton's court by offering him a contract that is fair for both sides so all the posturing can end. The team promised its fans the latest fire-sale profits would be spent on upgrading the roster, not pocketed, and so far that has yet to happen. Signing one of the brightest stars in Major League Baseball to a long-term deal would be a wise investment for multiple reasons.

1. Stanton is a once-in-a-decade talent.

Hitters like Stanton don't just grow on trees, and if they did, Jeffrey Loria would have certainly already chopped down all of those trees and sold them. Even though Stanton has battled injuries throughout his career, he still finds himself on lists like the one above, lists that include names even the most nonchalant of MLB fans can identify with. When you strike it rich in the draft with a guy like this, you pay him.

2. You already made the mistake of selling off a young power-hitter once.

No big deal, just the worst trade in the history of sports, that's all. Once upon a time, the Marlins had a proven young power-hitter on the verge of MVP-like dominance and a big payday, so of course the Marlins did what the Marlins do and sold his ass off for another team's minor-league, scratch-off-ticket players.

The Tigers sent Marlins outfielder Cameron Maybin, pitcher Andrew Miller, catcher Mike Rabelo, and minor-league pitchers Eulogio De La Cruz, Dallas Trahern, and Burke Badenhop. Not one remains with the team. Meanwhile, Miggy has won multiple MVPs for the Tigers, cemented himself as a sure-fire hall-of-famer, entered the best-hitter-of-all-time argument, and snagged his own brand of salsa. Other than that, good trade, Marlins.

Learn from your mistakes, Marlins. Seriously, stop being cheap!

3. The Marlins would be paying for the future, not the past.

One of the reasons Marlins fans didn't completely freak out when the team sold off all the expensive players they brought in when the stadium first opened was because Marlins fans could tell the money the team spent wasn't equal to the product moving forward. That's not the case here with Stanton. It's rumored the Marlins offered anywhere from $210 million to $275 million to Albert Pujols that summer, which would have meant paying him north of $20 million per season past his 40th birthday. Stanton is 24 years old and just now blossoming, unlike Pujols, who while still a nice player was not worth that sort of money. When is the last time the Marlins paid for the future? Fans are sick and tired of hearing about a player being "under the team's control." Smart teams know when it's the right time to forgo current value to lock in a player for the long term. See the Tampa Rays and Evan Longoria.

4. Fans equal money, money that will offset Stanton's big contract.

I'm no Darren Rovell, but I do know that asses in seats equals more team revenue, and Stanton equals asses in seats. If the Marlins try to sell the fans on another rebuilding project, they will find out just how much Stanton was worth to them. Just a few thousand more fans a game over a ten-year contract means an incredible amount. Stanton pays for a percentage of himself on the field, and the Marlins no doubt are taking that into account. Wait, I'm not sure about that last part. If the Marlins trade Stanton, they will likely lose over the next few years what Stanton would have cost them in profits.

5. You better hurry up, because he's only getting more expensive.

Every home run that Stanton hits raises his price. Every silly contract a lesser player gets increases his number. Waiting this long was ridiculous; the Marlins have already cost themselves a good $5 million a year by being cheap on the front end of Stanton's career. In 2014, the 32nd-most expensive player, Troy Tulowitzki, made $16 million; imagine what Stanton will demand if the Marlins wait two more years. Now take into account the fact that it's 2014, and the 32nd-highest-paid man gets $16 million, $20 million will seem like a bargain in 2023; average players may be getting that sort of money.

It's time for the Marlins to make a move on Stanton. Every day they wait costs them more money.

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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.