Giancarlo Stanton is about to break records, as the Marlins are on the verge of signing him to a massive 13-year, $325 million extension.
Red Sox fans, this is it. The end of the Stanton dream that so many seem to have been harboring for so long. It's an obsession that started honestly enough, moved into comedy somewhere in 2012, and perhaps even to the realm of the memetic in the past year. Like so many other Red Sox obsessions before him, however, it seems that Stanton won't be donning a Boston uniform, likely ever.
If you're holding out hope, it should be for the opt-out that's said to be included in the deal rather than a trade. Even if the Red Sox weren't on a more conservative bent of late, it's the sort of contract that's just prohibitively large. There's too much risk involved for most any team to take this contract on.
So why did the Marlins sign it? Because they kind of had to. They can't outbid the richest teams in the league for the best free agents, and they can't entice them to come to Miami on even a comparable bid when they have the negative reputation the franchise has earned in years past. The one year they did spend big, the team fell apart and was immediately broken up with yet another firesale.
In a way, this reminds me of the Jayson Werth deal the Nationals made back before 2011, just taken to a whole different level. It was a statement that they were here to play, and weren't just going to accept that their position as perennial cellar dwellers. Since then, they've managed a record of 360-287. Sure, there's more to their renaissance than just Jayson Werth, but it changed the perception of their place in the league.
For the Marlins, there's still a ways to go, and if it all starts with one massive Giancarlo Stanton deal, it has to continue with more investment. Signing Stanton will completely ruin the Marlins if they insist on remaining one of the cheapest teams in the league, since it will mean they're running back the same roster less $20 million, essentially. But if they build on this move, use it to show free agents they mean business and are a team worth joining, then by signing Stanton they've established quite the foundation to build on. One that, if surrounded by a winning team, shouldn't threaten to leave them high and dry before anything of real value can be achieved.
For the Red Sox, though, that's just the news from a distant team in a different league. What this means for Boston is an end to some of the most tiresome speculation that baseball has had to offer.