Report: Marlins, Christian Yelich Extension Talks Stall
By Ehsan Kassim
One of the Miami Marlins team goals coming into the off-season was to extend their young core players. The team identified Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Adeiny Hechavarria as the core players the team wanted to extend.
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Fernandez and Ozuna are unlikely to sign team-friendly extensions with the team, as both players are repped by agent Scott Boras. His clients hardly ever sign early extensions, rather opting to reach free agency and earning as much money as they can on the free agent market.
Unfortunately, the Marlins are unlikely to come to terms with their budding star left fielder Yelich, as contract extension talks between the player and team have stalled, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
"Talks have stalled between the Marlins and left fielder Christian Yelich on a long-term deal — a significant gap remains."
Yelich is under team control through the 2019, so while there is not necessarily a rush to extend him right away, the Marlins would be better of extending him now rather than waiting any longer, as Yelich is only going to continue to get better.
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Earlier in the off-season, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported the Marlins had made Yelich a Starling Marte like contract extension.
"The chance to do long deals with a couple of the others might be somewhat better than with Fernandez, though word is there’s also work to do with at least Yelich. The offer to him was said to have been patterned after Starling Marte’s $31 million, six-year deal, though it is also said to have been for less total dollars."
Christian Yelich is coming off a .284/.362/.402 slash line with a .341 wOBA and a 4.3 fWAR in 660 plate appearances. Yelich also won the Gold Glove for left field, hit 9 home runs, and stole 21 bases in his first full season in the majors. His 4.3 fWAR was second only to Giancarlo Stanton among position players for the Marlins.
Since being called up on July 23rd, 2013, Yelich has posted a .285/.365/.400 slash line with a .341 wOBA and a 5.7 fWAR in 933 plate appearances.
Extending Christian Yelich should remain a priority for the team. Getting him under a team friendly contract right now would position the Marlins well down the road, especially when Giancarlo Stanton’s extension really starts to kick in.
If the team cannot extend Yelich, he’s going to make a lot of money through the arbitration process.