Giancarlo Stanton is reportedly closing on a 13-year deal with the Marlins. (Getty Images)

Giancarlo Stanton is reportedly closing on a 13-year deal with the Marlins. (Getty Images)

Giancarlo Stanton didn’t win the NL MVP award, but he may be on the cusp of cashing in on the biggest contract in baseball history. According to CBSSports.com, the Marlins and Stanton have agreed to terms on a 13-year, $325 million deal, with the two sides working to iron out the language of the deal. The deal would include both no-trade protection and the opportunity to opt out, according to the report.

Stanton, who turned 25 last week, would thus be locked up through his age 37 season (if he does not exercise the potential opt-out) for a franchise that has a long history of trading its stars in their primes. Miami was evidently willing to change course for the foremost power hitter in the NL. Stanton, who finished second in NL MVP voting to pitcher Clayton Kershaw, led the NL with 37 homers and a .555 slugging mark while hitting .288 with a .395 OBP in 145 contests before his year came to a sudden halt when he was hit in the face by a pitch on Sept. 11.

An extension could end Stanton’s perpetual place in the rumor mill, an existence to which he first became introduced as an 18-year-old in 2008, when he was mentioned as the potential return for the Sox in a trade that would have sent Manny Ramirez to the Marlins.

“I heard it was going to happen,” Stanton acknowledged in 2009.

Indeed, in the absence of an extension, it seemed unavoidable to wonder whether the Red Sox would make a play for Stanton. That curiosity even hovered over this offseason, with curiosity about whether the Sox might try to build a package around Xander Bogaerts and/or Mookie Betts.

“I think any three of those guys, you’d be hard-pressed to part with. Obviously you have a couple of potential stars and a guy who looks like he might turn into a supernova,” reliever Burke Badenhop, who played with Stanton as a member of the Marlins in the early years of his career and spent the 2014 season playing with Bogaerts and Betts while pitching for the Red Sox. “Having played in Miami and knowing Giancarlo — Mike, as we referred to him — he’s that team. I really hope he wins the National League MVP. Without him, does that team have a chance to be where they were this year? Probably not. It would be tough for them to part with him. It would probably take a very, very big package.

“He was pretty obviously a talent,” Badenhop added in thinking about Stanton at the start of his big league career. “He wasn’t really a baseball player. He galloped like a horse out there. He was a freak of nature. You just weren’t sure if he was a baseball player. He’d take some bad swings. He struck out a bunch. Out in the outfield, he was a very good defender, which people don’t really realize. He’s got a really good arm. He’s really polished that side of his game, too. Now, he’s getting to his barrel more. He hits pitches out more that aren’t necessarily mistakes. He hits good pitches a long way. For people who have never been in Miami, that’s a gigantic ballpark. Where he’s hitting those balls is otherworldly. … To see him round himself into a baseball player is really great toe see. And he’s a fun, goofy guy, which plays well. He has fun playing the game.”

Now, it appears that Stanton has determined that he can enjoy the idea of being the face of the Marlins for the foreseeable future.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

Rusney Castillo will be playing some more offseason baseball, after all.

Rusney Castillo. (Getty Images)

Rusney Castillo. (Getty Images)

Rusney Castillo will be playing some more offseason baseball, after all.

After suffering a setback due to a bruised thumb suffered while playing in the Arizona Fall League — having to leave the AFL earlier than anticipated — Castillo has been cleared to participate in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Castillo will join the Criolles de Caguas (who are managed by former Red Sox infielder Alex Cora) Nov. 26, with the plan of getting the outfielder 100 at-bats. The 27-year-old was originally supposed to join Cora’s club Nov. 7 and play through the end of the month.

The Puerto Rican Winter League’s regular season schedule extends until the end of December. Among the players playing for Caguas is Red Sox minor league outfielder Henry Ramos, who hit .326 in 48 games for Double-A Portland last season.

With the Suprise Saguaros of the AFL, Castillo hit .278 (10-for-38) with 10 runs and a .333 on-base percentage over eight games. With the Red Sox he hit .333 (12-for-36) with two homers, totaling an OPS of .928.

The righty hitter was recently examined in Boston and cleared by the team’s medical staff.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
The Hot Stove boys are back again, talking about Jon Lester, Pablo Sandoval, Giancarlo Stanton's big contract and taking phone calls.
The Hot Stove boys are back again, talking about Jon Lester, Pablo Sandoval, Giancarlo Stanton's b

Left-hander Jon Lester, who posted a 16-11 record and career-best 2.46 ERA with 9.0 strikeouts and 2.0 walks per nine innings in a career-high 219 2/3 innings, finished fourth in

Jon Lester finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting. (Getty Images)

Jon Lester finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting. (Getty Images)

Left-hander Jon Lester, who posted a 16-11 record and career-best 2.46 ERA with 9.0 strikeouts and 2.0 walks per nine innings in a career-high 219 2/3 innings, finished fourth in American League Cy Young voting for his standout work on the mound with the Red Sox and A’s. The fourth-place finish in Cy Young voting is the second of Lester’s career, a finish that matches his recognition for going 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA, 9.7 strikeouts and 3.6 walks per nine innings in 2010.

Lester — whom the Sox traded to the A’s (along with Jonny Gomes) on July 31 in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes — was named on 25 of 30 ballots, receiving three third-place votes, 15 fourth-place votes and seven fifth-place votes. His 46 points were behind Cy Young winner Corey Kluber of the Indians (169 points), Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez (159 points) and White Sox lefty Chris Sale (78 points).

Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw won his second straight Cy Young award and his third in four seasons, claiming all 30 first-place votes. He’s the 14th pitcher in NL history to win a Cy by unanimous acclaim.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

PHOENIX – One of the biggest names of this offseason is now off the board with Victor Martinez having reportedly agreed to re-sign with the Tigers.

Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

PHOENIX – One of the biggest names of this offseason is now off the board with Victor Martinez having reportedly agreed to re-sign with the Tigers. Similar news about Red Sox offseason moves is not likely in the coming days.

GM Ben Cherington said that he “would not expect” the Red Sox to sign anyone this week. While the GM Meetings serve a useful purpose in terms of giving teams a chance to exchange information with teams and agents, they typically offer a springboard for more advanced conversations after the meetings break up.

“We’re working on stuff so there’s always a chance of getting something done, but I can’t predict [whether anything will happen prior to the December winter meetings]. … It’s really still more gathering information, looking at conceptual ideas, different permutations. We’re not close on anything, but we’ll continue to have those talks and see where they go,” said Cherington. “I think everyone still is really doing the same thing. You can put free agent possibilities and trade possibilities in the same ocean and everyone is swimming in that ocean, trying to figure out what fish they can catch. The deeper we get into the offseason, the closer teams get to the fish they want and seeing which ones they throw in the boat. We’re not close to doing that right now.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford