Stanton’s next few years are going to be interesting. This is his prime, and if he maintains anything close to this for the next few years, he may choose to opt out of his contract and hit free agency in 2020. (If he doesn’t, he’s still owed $295 million over the next 10 years.) But will he be a Marlin even that long? With new ownership coming in, Stanton and his massive contract could be traded to make room for a full rebuild; he’s also young enough that if new ownership is willing to spend, he’s the type of player they could build around.
Physiological effects of steroids can be estimated reasonably well because it can reasonably be supposed that few if any potential users are going to have significant pre-existing medical problems. But when trying to evaluate mental effects, that supposition has no basis. As Darkes (see farther below) and many others have pointed out, one of the chief failings of many studies of steroids and psychiatry is the failure to design the studies so that the cause-and-effect relationship is not tangled. While there are, in some reports, evidences of some possible correlation of steroid use and mental problems, what few if any of those studies address is which is cause and which effect .
How that statement fueled the final decade-plus of Clemens's career is an issue addressed further below, but for now we'll stick to the record as it unfolded at the time. In December 1996, the Rocket signed a three-year, $ million deal with Toronto and then put together back-to-back seasons in which he won not only Cy Young awards but also Triple Crowns. His 1997 campaign (21–7, ERA, 292 strikeouts, WAR) was by far the better of the two seasons, though his WAR the following year led the league as well. That WAR season in 1998 ranks fourth among all pitchers since 1915, wins behind the totals of Alexander (1920), Carlton ('72) and Dwight Gooden ('85).