Last month, Miami Marlins uber-slugger Giancarlo Stanton made it very clear that he was still unhappy about the way the team handles their business when it comes to building winners.
Yet now, in news that can only be taken with a couple of barrels of salt -- given the team's history for being tightwads -- the Marlins are saying they're prepared to offer Stanton the largest contract in franchise history to keep him around.
No word yet on if that contract still means they'll trade him to the Dodgers when they feel like it.
For comparison, the biggest contract the Marlins have ever given a player is a six-year $106 million Jose Reyes signed in 2011. He was eventually traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, along with other very good players.
So, basically, big contract in Marlinsspeak means nothing unless that contract has a no-trade clause, which it probably won't because, given Stanton's correct cynical view of this team, they'll spend the rest of the money they don't give him on bargain bin players.
But, the fact remains, Stanton is one baseball's brightest rising stars. At just 24-years of age, he's well worth way more than $100 million. Way more.
Which begs the question: Are the Marlins serious with this?
USA Today reports that the Marlins are prepared to not only give him a huge contract, but also vow "to build a championship club around him."
The USA Today report also quotes team president David Samson:
"He's the leader of this franchise,'' Marlins president David Samson tells USA TODAY Sports. "We always knew the talent he had, but what he's done this year, playing every day, he's the definition of a game-changer.
"We call him a no-food player. A no-bathroom player. When he comes to the plate, nobody leaves their seat.
"There's no question he's the MVP of this league.''
Aside from the ridiculous Samsonisms here (No-food player. Haha. Get it? Because you want to wait to get into a line that lasts three hours to buy overpriced chicken fingers and a $15 beer until after Stanton's at-bat!), there really isn't much being said here. Which isn't shocking in the least, if you've followed Samson's career as Marlins stooge over the years.
Fact is, the Marlins own Stanton's rights through the 2016 season. And, given this franchise's history, they're pretty much ALL about getting asses in seats right now without thinking of the future -- or, especially, the fans' interest.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you mull over the Marlins supposed franchise record contract thing for their No Bathroom Player:
1. The Marlins Are Only About Stealing Your Money RIGHT NOW
The Marlins are notoriously duplicitous in every thing they do. This franchise is soaked in deceitful practices, empty promises and overall deviousness. They know they have the current front-runner for MVP RIGHT NOW. They know Stanton is the reason people care about the team RIGHT NOW. They want people pay them to come see Stanton RIGHT NOW. Also, Stanton's jersey sells in their team store for $175 RIGHT NOW. Also, they have bobble heads and t-shirts.
So, with all that in mind comes this report that they're going to offer him the largest contract in franchise history. This is classic Marlins bait-and-switch: They're pretending to give a shit about the baseball side of things by making public promises.
Watch it either not happen, or watch it happen only to have Stanton dealt to another team. Then watch Samson come out and give hollow platitudes about how they gave Stanton everything he wanted.
They pulled this same crap with Reyes, promising to build a competitive team. Before Reyes could even get into the swing of things, he was gone. Same with then-ace Josh Johnson.
The Marlins are doing very well this year, despite Jeffrey Loria's shady ways. They're hitting all cylinders on a fluke season and riding on the back of Stanton's massive MVP-caliber shoulders.
They will use the 2014 season as a reason to tell you they don't need to spend big. They will lie. Manipulate. And give out hollow promises. Because they want all of your money NOW.
2. The Marlins Have a History Of Doing Horrible Things to Their City And Their Fans
There's a long history of the Marlins just not giving a single solitary shit about you, the paying customer.
Reyes, Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, Anibal Sanchez, Dontrelle Willis -- all players dealt away by the Marlins over the years.
Then there's the biggest F-You of all: The day the Fish traded away super star Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers for a bunch of minor league players, most of whom are no longer in the Big Leagues.
Also, the Marlins have made it very clear that they simply cannot afford to spend big money on players. They have the second-lowest payroll in baseball right now. They've publicly stated, over and over, that they're not in the paying big money to one player business. They've made it very clear that they prefer a bargain-basement team. Now, however, they're telling you they're prepared to offer Stanton over $100 million. Yeah. OK. Sure.
And then there's the whole new ballpark fiasco.
3. The Marlins Won't Build A Winner Around Stanton Because They've Given Us Zero Reasons To Believe They Would
Stanton was right to show skepticism about the team last month. Because he knows full well this ownership is not in the business of spending money. Stanton wants to win. He wants to play for a team committed to competing for World Series titles. He's not going to get that with the Marlins, and he knows it.
Best case scenario: The Marlins give Stanton that big money. But then what? You really think they'll open their wallets for other really good players? It's not like this team has a powerhouse farm system waiting to break free. And even if they did, Stanton isn't going to want to wait around for those guys to maybe, hopefully develop.
So what then? Spend more money on complimentary players? LOLOLOLLOLOLLO.
And we're not even talking other super star players here. We're talking good players. Players who can, you know, play baseball well enough to compete with the Dodgers, and Cardinals of the world. Not a star-studded modern day Murderer's Row. Just a team made up of solid ballplayers. Those guys cost at least more than what players fresh out of the minors cost.
But, nope. Not gonna do it. Not gonna spend. So, send in the minor leaguers and pretend to hope they mesh with Stanton. It's a crock of shit, and it's pure unadulterated Marlins.
This is a team with very shady business practices, and an owner who cares more about art than baseball and a team president who is more akin to a carnival hawker who plays hide the beans than an actual team president.
Sorry, Marlins fans. Stanton is not going to be a Marlins cornerstone.
Enjoy him NOW while he's here.
Or, you know, don't.
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