Marlins sign slugger Stanton to record $325 million deal
By Zachary Fagenson
MIAMI (Reuters) - The Miami Marlins completed the signing of slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to a record 13-year, $325 million deal on Wednesday, the most lucrative player contract in U.S. professional sports history.
"Everyone wants to talk about the record-breaking deal….but I want records on the field, I want to do things on the field and that’s what it is all about," two-time All-Star Stanton told a news conference.
"This isn’t a lottery ticket and peace out. This is the start of new work and a new job for this city. It is a huge responsibility and one I am willing to take," the 25-year-old added.
The Marlins, owned by New York-based art dealer Jeffrey Loria, hope Stanton can help mend shattered relations between the team and disillusioned fans after a widely criticized taxpayer funded deal to build a new ballpark.
The team has also drawn ire for gutting its roster in recent years and revealing millions in profits after lobbying for public funds.
The ballpark deal led voters to vote out the sitting mayor in 2010 and has been a black eye for professional sports in Miami, souring recent efforts by retired soccer star David Beckham to launch a Major League Soccer team on the city's downtown bayfront.
“If the Marlins become contenders, much of the bad blood could begin to wash away,” a Miami Herald editorial said on Wednesday.
The Marlins (77-85) last season ranked 27 out of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams in attendance, attracting about 21,000 fans per game, according to ESPN.com. Continued...