PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- No doubt the transaction will be interpreted as yet another example of the Marlins' frugality. Some will chalk it up as another reason why Giancarlo Stanton would never dream of staying in South Florida long-term.
The Marlins on Saturday announced they renewed Stanton's 2013 contract and those of six others: Logan Morrison, Wade LeBlanc, Mike Dunn, Rob Brantly, Alex Sanabia and Henderson Alvarez.
Stanton according to a union source will earn $537,000, just $47,000 more than the major league minimum.
Players with less than three years of service time have no negotiating leverage. Teams generally have a pay scale for determining the contracts of pre-arbitration eligible players. When the two sides don't agree the team can unilaterally renew the contract.
The Marlins aren't the only organization that takes advantage of the early savings afforded them via the Collective Bargaining Agreement. After watching him finish second in American League Most Valuable Player balloting last season, the Angels on Saturday renewed Mike Trout for $515,000.
Stanton probably isn't taking the renewal as a personal affront. Few players do. The Marlins in 2007 -- a year after he won National League Rookie of the Year -- renewed Hanley Ramirez for $402,000. That was a mere $22,000 more than the league minimum at the time.
Was Ramirez upset? Yes. Did his rancor preclude him from ultimately accepting a six-year, $70 million contract from the same organization that many felt shafted him as a 0-3 player? No.
Some other examples: the Mariners renewed Felix Hernandez three times and still signed him to two separate extensions spanning 12 years and $243 million; the Nationals renewed Ryan Zimmerman twice and he agreed to two extensions worth $145 million over 12 years; the Phillies renewed Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels a combined five times and signed them to a guaranteed $443.5 million worth of contracts.
In addition to Stanton and Steve Cishek (Team USA), and Alvarez (Team Venezuela), the Marlins are sending another uniformed member to the World Baseball Classic. Third base coach Joe Espada will depart Sunday to join Team Puerto Rico. Ex-Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez is the club's dugout boss.
"It's the first time representing Puerto Rico, so I'm looking forward to it," Espada said. "I'm glad that (the Marlins) allowed me to do it. ...That first round is in Puerto Rico so having my folks watching me coach putting the Puerto Rican uniform on, it's exciting. My dad is jacked up. He was the first person I called.
"Being a major league coach has prestige, but when you're representing your country it's kind of a different feeling."
Puerto Rico opens against Spain on Friday.
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