Does Giancarlo Stanton’s huge contract make him untradeable?

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) freacts to striking out in the 9th inning during the team’s home opener in Miami, Florida on April 6, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Giancarlo Stanton’s star never shined brighter than it did in 2014.

The 6-foot-6 slugger finished second to Clayton Kershaw in the NL MVP voting, while launching 37 home runs and driving in 105 runs.

The Marlins saw everything they needed to see and rewarded Stanton with a massive 13-year, $325 million contract that November. In the process, they may have created an untradeable deal.

At least, that’s the view of Sports Illustrated’s Jonah Keri, who released the first part of his annual trade value player rankings recently.

In this installment, Keri listed the players who were top-50 selections before last season and have now fallen out of the rankings. Stanton was one of those players, falling from 28th in 2016 to off the board now.

“The biggest contract in baseball history might also be on the verge of becoming untradeable,” Keri wrote. “Stanton is owed $91.5 million over the next four seasons and can either opt out after the 2020 season or make another $218 million guaranteed after that. That’s a hefty deal for a player who’s topped 123 games played just once in the past five years.”

Stanton has played just 193 of a possible 324 games over the past two seasons, while his batting average and on-base percentage have declined in both. That’s not the greatest trend for someone with a heavily backloaded structure, although there’s time for the 27-year-old to turn things around.

There were seven players ranked higher than Stanton in 2016 who also fell off the list, including the aforementioned Kershaw. The Los Angeles Dodgers can thank the clause in his contract that allows him to become a free agent following an in-season trade for his fall.

Could the Miami Marlins replace Giancarlo Stanton with A-Rod?

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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees tips his hat to the crowd in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on August 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Alex Rodriguez tips his hat to the crowd in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on Friday in New York City. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees held a lightning-filled retirement ceremony for Alex Rodriguez before their Friday game with the Tampa Bay Rays, but when Rodriguez walked off the field in the middle of the ninth inning, it may only have been his last time in a Yankees uniform.

With slugger Giancarlo Stanton likely out for the season with a groin injury, Miami Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said the team is considering all possible replacements, including Rodriguez, who is a Miami native.

“I think we’re going through that process right now,” Hill told MLB.com. “We’re putting our list together of options. [Rodriguez] is available, so he will be on that list. We’ll see where that goes.”

Rumors grew Monday as ESPN’s Jim Bowden reported A-Rod to the Marlins was “going to happen.”

Rodriguez played DH for nearly all of his last two seasons with the Yankees, so with the Marlins, he would likely come off the bench or play first base. The three-time MVP and 14-time All Star has 696 career home runs, which is fourth on the all-time list. He hit .200 with nine home runs and a .598 on-base plus slugging percentage this season.

 

Meet the 2016 Miami Marlins: Interactive

As the 2016 baseball season is set to begin, we take a look at the Miami Marlins and their projected batting order, bench players and pitching staff.

[playbuzz-item url=”//www.playbuzz.com/adamhs10/miami-marlins-projected-batting-order”]

Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton blasts first homer of the spring

 

Miami's Giancarlo Stanton hit a fastball from St. Louis' Trevor Rosenthal for his first home run of the spring Wednesday.
Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton hit a fastball from St. Louis’ Trevor Rosenthal for his first home run of the spring Wednesday.

JUPITER – Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler was doing a television interview when Giancarlo Stanton got into a Trevor Rosenthal pitch for his first home run of the spring.

Koehler’s call: “Big Fella goes boom!”

Stanton wasn’t impressed.

“I told him ‘boom goes the dynamite would have been better,”’ Stanton said.

Whatever the call, the Marlins $325 million man was happy to finally see something resembling the swing he is looking to take into the regular season. The home run was the first Stanton has hit in a game since June 24. Two days later, Stanton broke a bone in his left hand during an at bat, ending his season.

“It’s good to get on top of a fastball that I seemed to pop up the past couple of weeks,” Stanton said after the Marlins’ 4-1 loss Wednesday to the Cardinals.

Stanton, though, has an excuse. He’s had just 17 at bats after missing about a week because of knee soreness. He is hitting .235 with two RBI. He was 1 for 3 Wednesday.

“I’m roughly where I’m (usually) at,” he said. “I’ve had only 17 at bats. That’s not where I’d usually be but I don’t necessarily need a certain amount of at bats,  rather a feel in the spring.”

Still, Stanton is looking to refine that powerful swing in the next 13 days leading up to the April 5 opener against Detroit in Miami.

“Just a few more of those, not homers, hitting fastballs hard,” he said when asked what he’s like to achieve.

“Just to be on top of fastballs,” “Popping them up means you’re either late or dipping a little bit. That’s the first sign of your midseason slumps, which is normal this time. Get on top of one especially in the mid-90s. … that’s a good test. I’m glad I had some velocity today to test it.”

Manager Don Mattingly said Stanton will get plenty of at bats in the final nine exhibition games.

“He just needs at bats,” Mattingly said. “I think you’ll see him having batter swings.”