Giancarlo Stanton has accomplished a lot in his young career, but this offseason he did something that seemed utterly impossible: He convinced owner Jeffrey Loria to put the Miami Marlins in a position to succeed. 

In November, Loria and the Marlins signed Stanton to the biggest contract in baseball history. The deal served as a $325 million domino that led to an offseason of free-agent signings and trades that made actual baseball sense, something Loria has a track record of ignoring.

In an exhaustive feature on Stanton, ESPN The Magazine‘s Tim Keown wrote that the Marlins star didn’t demand just the 13 years and the parking garage full of Brink’s trucks that came with the deal. Stanton required a commitment to success. 

“I’m not going to sign just any contract because I got hit in the head,” he said. 

The deal ended up including an opt-out after six years and the first no-trade clause Loria has ever granted. Those serve as protection for Stanton in case the front office doesn’t keep its promise to field a winner. 

But so far the organization has held up its end of the bargain.

Michael Morse, Ichiro Suzuki, Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Dan Haren and Mat Latos all found their way to Miami this winter because of the new leaf the organization has apparently turned over. 

Now, for the first time since they started calling themselves “Miami,” the Marlins can also call themselves contenders.

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