Sunday March 22nd, 2015

The Marlins have extended 23-year-old slugger Christian Yelich's contract to a seven-year, $49.57 million deal, the club announced Sunday.

The deal includes a club option for 2022 season.

Yelich hit .284 last season with nine home runs and 94 runs scored for Miami over 144 games. He also won a gold glove for his defensive work. 2015 will mark the outfielder's third major league season. 

• REITER: Model Slugger: Giancarlo Stanton is no paint-by-numbers superstar

"I love the direction we're headed," Yelich said at a spring training press conference in Florida. "I think we're going to be good this year and for years to come."

He may have a point. Yelich's signing comes on the heels of the Marlins inking of another young outfielder - in November Miami signed 25-year-old Giancarlo Stanton to a record 13-year, $325 million contract. 

In addition to Stanton, the Marlins' recent outfield bolstering has also included signing 41-year-old former Mariner and Yankee outfielder Ichiro Suzuki this past offseason. Outfielder Marcell Ozuna, 23, who slugged 23 home runs last year in his first full season in the big leagues, is under team control through the 2018 season. 

Miami opens the season April 6 at home against Atlanta. 

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