The Miami Marlins have agreed to an extension with All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Gordon's deal is for five years and $50 million, reports Rosenthal. It also includes a vesting option for a sixth season that is valued at $14 million. Rosenthal had noted in a column earlier this week that the Marlins should lock up Gordon, though it was not known if anything was actually in the works.
Gordon, who is a client of Beverly Hills Sports Council, was on track to be eligible for arbitration this offseason, the second of four times he and his club would have to agree on a new deal.
In the extension, the Marlins bought out all three remaining arbitration seasons, as well as two free agency seasons. They have the opportunity to control Gordon for a third season that would have been a free agent year with the vesting option.
The Marlins have now locked up three young players to extensions, as they look to build a young core in Miami.
Outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich each signed contract extensions last offseason, with Stanton agreeing to a monster thirteen-year, $325 million deal and Yelich signing to a more modest seven-year, $49.57 million pact.
With the extensions, the Marlins have attempted to establish a young, talented team that will become a core.
Stanton is 26 and Yelich is 24. Jose Fernandez, ace starting pitcher, is just 23. Gordon, the oldest of the group, is 27.
The Marlins hope that these four players, alongside the likes of Adieny Hechavarria, Marcell Ozuna, and new acquisition Wei-Yin Chen, will begin to take the club back to the playoffs. That is something the Marlins have not done since winning the World Series in 2003.
But first, the Marlins had to reward Gordon for his outstanding play in 2015, winning the National League batting title while also leading the league in stolen bases. He is the first NL player to do that since Jackie Robinson in 1949.
Overall, Gordon hit .333/.359/.418 with four home runs, 46 RBIs, and 58 stolen bases (78 attempts). According to FanGraphs, Gordon was worth 4.6 Wins Above Replacement, being an above average player on both offense and defense.
This was Gordon's first season with the Marlins, as he was traded from the Dodgers last offseason. To call it a success would be an understatement. Now, he's guaranteed to be in a Marlins uniform through at least 2021.
At a $50 million total guarantee, Gordon compares quite favorably to extensions signed by fellow second basemen in the past.
Matt Carpenter and Jason Kipnis each signed six-year deals in 2014, for $52 million and $52.5 million, respectively. However, they each were one year further from free agency than Gordon currently is, so the Cardinals and Indians each bought out the same amount of free agent seasons as the Marlins did in this deal.
All things aside, the Marlins continue to build their core for the future. And that starts right now in 2016.
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