Is UM-FSU only reason Stanton is in town?

MIAMI — College football was on Giancarlo Stanton’s mind Saturday, as the Marlins’ slugger attended the Florida State-University of Miami game at Sun Life Stadium.

Pregame, Stanton was on the sidelines, interacting and posing for pictures.

But with a record-setting contract offer on the table, you have to figure Stanton’s visit to South Florida isn’t all about The U. Is this also a business trip?

From all indications, negotiations between the Stanton and the Marlins are winding down. The two sides reportedly are closing in on a 13-year, $325 million extension that will include an opt-out clause and a no-trade clause.

Nothing has changed over the last few days to indicate either side is about to fumble away the deal. In fact, there is growing speculation that an announcement will come sometime this week. If so, Stanton already is in town.

Stanton isn’t the Marlins’ only order of business this offseason, but he is priority No. 1. This much we do know, the club also is considering extending some other young core players, like Christian Yelich, Adeiny Hechavarria and Marcell Ozuna. There is even an outside chance they will seek a long-term deal with Jose Fernandez.

For now, all those talks have been pushed aside. Signing Stanton is in the forefront, and all other talks are on hold.

Also unclear is the breakdown of Stanton’s contract. The years and figures have changed in recent days. When the story broke on Thursday that Miami was making a record-setting offer, the initial framework was said to be at least 10 years and $300 million. Then word came it was 12 years at $320 million. Now, the latest is 13 years, $325 million.

From what I’ve heard, the initial figure the Marlins were danging was 12 years, $300 million with opt-out and no-trade clauses. The terms may have indeed changed as the negotiations heated up.

Whether it is $300 million or $325 million, the dollar amount would surpass Miguel Cabrera’s $292 million as the richest for a professional athlete.

There also is a report Stanton can opt out after the fifth year, or 2019.

In early October, the Marlins were thinking of a deal in the five or six year range with a salary similar to Mike Trout’s six-year, $144.5 million contract.

The opt-out clause gives an opening for a shorter deal, but still one that would keep the 25-year-old Stanton in Miami until he is at least 30.

There’s been a lot of progress in the talks. Now it’s a matter of pushing the deal across the goal line.

Joe Frisaro

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