According to Mike Lowell of MLB Network, the Miami Marlins and outfielder Christian Yelich have finalized a seven-year $49.5 million contract. Yelich was the Marlins first round pick in 2010, and made his debut in 2013 playing in 62 games. He will be eligible for free agency after his age 28 season.
Last season, the 21-year-old played in 144 games, hitting .284 to go along with nine home runs and 54 RBI’s, batting primarily from the lead-off position. He also proved to be a threat to get on base, and running the bases, having a .362 OBP and 21 stolen bases.
Yelich also won a Gold Glove Award for his outstanding defense in left field, only making two errors in over 1,258 innings in 2014. He had 13 defensive runs saved and had a .996 fielding percentage, compared to the league average of .981. Yelich also ranked second in assists with six in left field in the National League.
Yelich has proved at the young age of 21, that he has all capabilities to be a threat to the league, both offensively and defensively. This marks the second outfielder the Marlins have signed to a long-term deal, after extending Giancarlo Stanton earlier this offseason.
President Michael Hill talked earlier this offseason about extending the young players on the team, saying they were, “exploratory and ongoing.” He will be back in the outfield, playing in the same outfield with Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, who ranked second in the MLB in wins above replacement (WAR) in the 2014 campaign.