MIAMI (Reuters) - Giancarlo Stanton’s record deal with the Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins is the biggest contract in American sports but the slugger says he doesn’t feel like he has won the lottery.
The outfielder’s deal is for $325 million over 13 years but he won’t be instantly among the sport’s top earners with reports suggesting the contract is heavily backloaded and ESPN saying he may earn $6.5 million next season.
Still, the pressure of the eye-catching grand total, which will be paid out if Stanton stays with Miami through 2027, does not seem to worry the Californian.
“I know I have a lot of expectations I have to live up to, which I’m willing to do. This isn’t like having a winning lottery ticket and peace out,” Stanton said on Wednesday during his introductory news conference.
“You win the lottery and go away, retire. This is the start of new work and a new job for this city. It’s a huge responsibility.”
Backloading the deal gives Miami a chance to add some other key players to give Stanton a chance of showing off his powerful hitting in the playoffs next season.
“We have got to add pieces around me. We’ve got to trust that we’re all in it to win it. That’s why it’s structured that way,” Stanton, one of the game’s most feared sluggers, said when asked about the backloading.
“I want to win. Yeah, I’m financially good for the rest of my life, great, but I’m not trying to come here and get my butt kicked for 10 hours and go home to a lavish lifestyle every day. That’s not fun for me.
“At the end of the day I want to be playing in October, I don’t want to be on vacation.”
Media reports have said Stanton would be paid $107 million over the first six years after which he has an opt-out clause. He would then be paid $218 million over the final seven years.
“We said in order for this deal to work for the next three years before we have increased revenue we have to pay you a smaller amount of money because we need to win, and the only way we can win with you is to surround you with other players,” said Marlins president David Samson.
“The Miami Heat (players) did that too, they took less in order to have more.”
Writing by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Frank Pingue