The Marlins have renewed Giancarlo Stanton for $537,000 (or $47,000 over the league minimum) but this will be the last time he'll come cheap. Stanton is eligible for salary arbitration after this season and, assuming he puts up his usual numbers at the plate, he'll start costing the Marlins plenty -- that is, assuming they don't trade him.
Miguel Cabrera, for example, made $7.4 million his first year of arbitration, after which the Marlins promptly dealt him to the Tigers in their now infamous trade with Detroit. Cabrera had already proved to be a better pure hitter than Stanton, but with not quite as much pop.
Looking ahead, the Marlins don't have any significant salary commitments on the books for 2014, so whatever Stanton ends up making shouldn't break the camel's back. Then again, these are the Marlins we're talking about, and his salary, as long as he remains healthy and continues to bash, will only escalate from this point forward.
As one front office executive told me once of the salary schedule leading up to free agency: "We own them the first three years. They own us the next three."
After this season, the Marlins' three years are up, and they'll be done "owning" Giancarlo Stanton.