The Miami Marlins' offseason spending spree continues with the team signing Christian Yelich to a long-term extension.
The full financial details of the deal were provided by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports and Frisaro:
Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel reported that there is a no-trade clause in the new deal.
It's a heavy investment for the Marlins but one that Yelich's performance has warranted. His first full season with the team in 2014 produced positive results, as the 23-year-old hit .284/.362/.402 with 45 extra-base hits in 144 games.
"His new contract is the second-largest ever for a player in the one-to-two year service class, ranking ahead of Ryan Braun‘s 2008 deal while falling shy of the $58MM pact agreed upon last year by Andrelton Simmons and the Braves," noted Jeff Todd of MLBTradeRumors.com. "(Notably, Simmons also managed to avoid giving up an option.) As compared to Marte, Yelich not only can look forward to a larger total payday, due in part to a higher option value in the final year of control, but also picks up an additional guaranteed year."
Even though it's been fashionable to make fun of the Marlins in the past for how they seemed to hate spending money, this offseason has been a different story for the franchise. The Marlins signed Giancarlo Stanton to a record-breaking 13-year, $325 million deal in November.
Later, details of Stanton's deal raised some eyebrows because it's heavily backloaded with an opt-out after 2020, meaning the Marlins may only end up having to pay $107 million over six years if he decides to leave.
After Stanton and the Marlins agreed to a deal, owner Jeffrey Loria told Frisaro that more deals were being worked on.
"There are some other things we want to do," Loria said. "Yelich and Hech[avarria] are still out there, and we'll see whether or not they want to join us."
There is reason to believe that the Marlins will be one of the most interesting teams to watch over the next few years, which Buster Olney pointed out, noting all the young talent on the roster:
In 2014, per FanGraphs, Yelich was worth 4.3 wins above replacement and $23.9 million dollars. This deal with Miami makes it extremely favorable for the team if he only remains a four-win player for the duration of the contract.
Given Yelich's age and advanced approach at the plate, not to mention the strong possibility of power coming as he gets more comfortable against big league pitching, the Marlins are likely looking at one of the best bargains in baseball for a long time, and they bought out at least one year of free agency in the process.