The Miami Marlins locked up Giancarlo Stanton on a 13-year, $325 million deal early on in the offseason and now they're planning to keep one of their other young outfielders around for a while.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Miami is "close" to signing Christian Yelich to a seven-year extension that is worth more than $40 million. Just an hour after he broke that news, Frisaro followed that up and reported the deal is a seven-year, $49.57 million pact, but the team has yet to confirm.
A little while after that, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports added that there is an eighth-year club option for $15 million and includes a $1.25 million buyout, which puts the maximum value of the deal at $63.32 million.
Both Frisaro and Passan say the deal is being finalized, and Frisaro noted that the team may hold a news conference on Sunday to announce the transaction.
The 23-year-old outfielder has played in 206 games with the Marlins over the last two seasons and owns a .285/.365/.400 stat line with 128 runs scored, 13 home runs, 70 RBIs and 31 stolen bases. He's already off to a fast start this spring, batting .421/.542/.474 with five runs scored, one RBI, two stolen bases and five walks.
Yelich is scheduled to earn the league minimum and isn't eligible for salary arbitration until 2017. He also can't hit free agency until 2020. This new contract - once finalized - will help both Yelich and the Marlins, being that the outfielder will earn significantly more than he normally would being under club control, while the team will save money in avoiding his latter arbitration years and keep him under contract one or two seasons longer, depending on whether the deal kicks in this upcoming season or in 2016.
Miami made a similar contract extension offer to starting pitcher Jose Fernandez earlier in the offseason, but being that he's a client of Scott Boras, there has been no reported progression in those talks.