The days of instability at Marlins Park look like they may be coming to a close. That, or Jeffrey Loria has some serious unloading to do.
According to Devan Fink of Cover Those Bases, Joe Frisario of MLB.com and Mike Lowell of MLB Network, the Miami Marlins have agreed on a long term extension with OF Christian Yelich worth $49.570 million dollars over seven years guaranteed, plus an eighth year club option for $15 million. Yelich would not have been eligible for free agency until the year 2020, so the Marlins have essentially bought out his first year of free-agency.
This extension comes after Giancarlo Stanton’s megadeal in late 2014 worth over $300 million dollars and spanning ten years. In comparison, Yelich’s deal isn’t large at all, but for a player with only two years of experience, the deal is monstrous.
The Marlins have now secured both corners of their outfield, with only young CF Marcell Ozuna left unextended. Miami had reportedly tried to extend the 23-year-old earlier in the offseason, and with good reason; Yelich has flourished in left field with the Marlins, boasting a .995 fielding percentage with a gold glove, and has proven himself as Miami’s number one option at the top of their lineup, as he held the leadoff hitter title throughout the majority of 2014 and will hold that position as a cornerstone for a long time. He batted .284/.362/.402 (112 OPS+) with 9 home runs and 54 RBI that season, his first full one in the big leagues. The organization obviously has a high level of confidence in him after signing him to a deal of this caliber. Manager Mike Redmond said that he could envision Yelich as a future batting champ.
Over his two-year career, Christian Yelich has hit .285/.365/.400 (112 OPS+) over 933 plate appearances in 206 games with thirteen home runs and seventy RBI.