Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (21) signs autographs before an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore
March 19, 2015

MIAMI (AP) The Marlins have made another long-term investment in their young, talented outfield.

Left fielder Christian Yelich agreed to a seven-year contract worth about $49.6 million, a person familiar with the situation said Thursday. The person confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it hadn't been announced.

Yelich is expected to sign the agreement this weekend, and a news conference tentatively is planned for Sunday.

Yelich, 23, is part of an outfield Miami considers the best in the majors, with $325 million slugger Giancarlo Stanton in right field and Marcell Ozuna in center. Two-thirds of that outfield will be under contract through at least 2021, with the 25-year-old Stanton signing a 13-year agreement in November.

Miami has discussed a long-term deal with the 24-year-old Ozuna, who hit 23 home runs last year.

The Marlins haven't reached the playoffs since 2003, but historically thrifty owner Jeffrey Loria approved higher spending this year, and they expect to contend after a busy offseason that has pushed their payroll above $70 million.

Yelich won a Gold Glove and hit .284 with nine homers and 54 RBIs in his first full major league season last year, when he made $505,000. His base salary this year will be $570,000 before the contract escalates.

A left-handed hitter, Yelich was the 23rd overall pick in the 2010 draft. He wasn't due to become arbitration-eligible until after the 2016 season. In 206 games over two big league seasons, he's a career .285 hitter with a .365 on-base percentage, a .400 slugging percentage and 31 stolen bases.

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