Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich signs 7-year extension
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) The Marlins took another step toward keeping their young talent in Miami, finalizing a $49.57 million contract with outfielder Christian Yelich.
Yelich gets $570,000 this year, the same salary as in the one-year deal he agreed to on March 1. He will receive $1 million next year, $3.5 million in 2017, $7 million in 2018, $9.75 million in 2019, $12.5 million in 2020 and $14 million in 2021.
Miami has a $15 million option for 2022 with a $1.25 million buyout. The option salary would increase by $1 million for each MVP award during the first seven seasons and $500,000 for each time finishing second through fifth, with the price capped at $18 million.
The deal contains a tax equalization provision should Yelich be traded, a specification first reported by Fox. Florida does not have a state income tax, and if Yelich is traded to another U.S. team, that team would have to pay the state income tax Yelich would owe for home games in that state. If he is traded to Toronto, the Blue Jays would have to pay the Ontario tax Yelich would owe for home games plus any difference if Canadian income tax is greater than U.S. income tax.
Miami has two-thirds of its outfielder under long-term deals. Giancarlo Stanton is starting a $325 million, 13-year agreement.
''It says we want to win now, and in the future,'' Yelich said after the deal was announced Sunday. ''I'm excited about the direction we're headed. It's great to have a good team now and in the future.''
The 23-year-old Yelich hit .284 last year in his first full major league season. He had nine homers and 54 RBIs and also won a Gold Glove. He is the latest homegrown product Miami has secured for the long term.
Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill, manager Mike Redmond and club president David Samson were joined by Yelich's mother, Alecia Yelich, at the news conference.
Yelich's agent, Joseph Longo, wasn't so sure the deal would get done back in October.
''They had reached out to us before Stanton's deal got done,'' Longo said. ''We didn't talk about terms so when I called Christian I said, `I don't want you to take this as a bad thing because they don't have a history of doing stuff like this with a first-year guy.' . But then Stanton signed and that was impressive to Christian about this organization and that got some momentum going.''
Yelich, a first-round pick in the 2010 amateur draft, reported to Jupiter in February, and Longo wound up having two face-to-face meetings with Hill - each lasting about two hours. The details were pretty much worked out last Tuesday. Longo credited Yelich with making it clear he wanted to get something done before the season started.
Those negotiations fell in line with the plan owner Jeffrey Loria had in mind in order to send a message to the players and the fans about how serious he was this time around.
''We've made a decision on two players now, Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich, and we think we're right but time will tell,'' Samson said. ''Basically the way Jeffrey presented it to Mike and D.J. was build a team that we can sustain and that can show some stability but has sustainability. That's the key to the tiered way we built it in terms of when contracts expire.''
Perhaps next in line is young centerfielder Marcell Ozuna, whose agent Scott Boras, has indicated he is not in a hurry to secure an extension.