Similarities Between Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Votto

With news of Giancarlo Stanton becoming not only the highest-paid baseball player of all-time, but also the highest-paid athlete in any of the four major sports, it feels necessary to re-visit a time (two and a half years ago) when the Cincinnati Reds were under as much scrutiny as the Miami Marlins currently are.

Just before the 2012 season was slated to begin, the Reds inked Joey Votto to a massive 10-year/$225 million extension. Up to that point, a small-market club like Cincinnati had never paid that much money for a player.

We fast-forward two and a half years later and there are fans positioned on either side of the fence. Some are pessimistic over the fact that Votto has not been able to stay healthy, while others are optimistic in view due to the fact that Votto is one of the most talented players in baseball and he surely cannot continue to have such debilitating injuries for much longer.

Yet, in fact it was Votto who himself couldn’t even promise full health for the length of his contract, stating, “I can’t promise you anything going forward. I can’t promise you health or promise you production. I can promise you I’ll do my best.” This all coming from a man who put a pen to paper earlier in the day guaranteeing him and future generations of his family a lavish lifestyle to the tune of $225 million. In hindsight, his foreshadowing is eerie.

Lost at the heart of the Marlins inking Stanton to his extension is how absurd it is. Of course, no one is worth $325 million—not even Mike Trout. Or in this case, Giancarlo Stanton. But it’s not just about Stanton not being worth the money. If this were the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers signing the checks, folks would be in an uproar about how baseball needs a salary cap and that the rich keep getting richer, but since it was the Marlins, the narrative flips to being thankful that a small market club can retain their franchise cornerstone.

The Miami Marlins have won two World Series since the last time the Reds won one back in 1990. In fact, the Marlins didn’t even exist until 1993. After raising the sports golden trophy in 1997 and 2003, each of the following seasons saw the club have the proverbial “fire sale” where any player of substance was jettisoned off in fear of the fact that they may command some type of reasonable salary. This is the same franchise that just gave the most lucrative contract in professional history to a 25-year-old outfielder.

How it will work for Miami is much of the same way it will work for the Reds. It may sound silly, but if the Reds win two or three championships over the course of Votto’s remaining contract years, the deal will have been worth it. If they don’t win even once, it will be a massive failure, no matter how well he plays.

So, get used to seeing Stanton’s chiseled frame having the “Miami” scrawl across his chest. And no, he won’t waive his no-trade clause to come play for the Reds; it’s not like they could afford him anyways.