|Stanton's a superstar worthy of superstar money (Baseball-Fever)|
Stanton, this year's NL MVP runner-up and a two-time All-Star, is has done nothing but mash in his five big league seasons. Just 25, he's already blasted 154 home runs (31 per season), won two league slugging titles, and compiled 21.2 bWAR. His career batting line of .271/.364/.540 is 43 percent above average after adjustments for league and park, making him the tenth-best hitter in baseball since his debut. His most similar batter to date is Juan Gonzalez, a two-time MVP who slammed 434 career home runs. The Marlins should be thrilled if Stanton's career turns out like Juan Gone's.
Stanton's not a one-dimensional slugger like Gonzalez was. He's a capable right fielder with a strong arm. Stanton's also a solid baserunner for his size, having succeeded in 20 of his last 23 stolen base attempts. He's not a burner by any means, but he knows when to swipe a bag and isn't a liability on the basepaths like most burly sluggers.
Put it all together and Stanton's a superstar who should remain elite for the foreseeable future, at least through the rest of the decade. If he continues to be worth five to six wins per year, that's going to justify an annual salary above $30 million. Give him 10 years, and that will take him through his age 34 season, at which point he'll still be young enough to be productive. Most long-term deals accept dead-weight on the backend, but it's possible this one won't. The Marlins may well get their money's worth for the full 10 years, if that's indeed what they plan on doing.
Miami's not known for spending big money (save for their bizarre spending spree a few years back), but Stanton's worth breaking the bank for. He's somebody to build a franchise around, and he figures to be very good for a long time.