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KANSAS CITY ROYALS
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Signed INF-S Rafael Furcal to a minor-league deal. [3/18]

You have to admire Furcal's determination to play on. He returned to the majors last season after missing 2013 due to Tommy John surgery, though durability remained an issue. Furcal appeared in nine games between prolonged stints on the disabled list due to a bum hamstring. Predictably, he didn't show much during that week-plus window, but it's not as if the Royals are counting on him for much. Rather this deal feels inspired by Dayton Moore's relationship with Furcal, which dates back to their Braves days. Here's hoping Furcal enjoys some more time in the majors before his body betrays him again. Otherwise, it might be time to try coaching.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
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Signed LHP Randy Wolf to a minor-league deal. [3/17]

Do you think Wolf decided to give it another go after he saw Jason Marquis slotted into the Reds' Opening Day rotation, or was that just a happy coincidence? Wolf changed teams more times last season (four) than he had in his first 14 big-league seasons (three). For all the shuffling, he was rewarded by the Marlins with a handful of appearances, during which he did little to change the opinion that he's an emergency starter and nothing more. That might be enough to earn him a start or two for the 2015 Blue Jays, but don't expect him to stick for long.

MIAMI MARLINS
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Agreed to a seven-year extension with OF-L Christian Yelich worth $49.5 million with a club option worth $15 million. [3/18]

Months after re-signing Giancarlo Stanton to a long-term extension, Dan Jennings has agreed to terms with another piece of Miami's outfield.

Yelich, 23, doesn't have the same cachet as Stanton, but he's among the best pure hitters in baseball. His feel for contact is enviable, and his approach sees him go to left and left-center so often you'd think it was his life's purpose. Additionally, he maintains a healthy walk rate and runs the bases well, making him an ideal top-of-the-order hitter. Yelich's arm limits him to left field on defense, yet he's regarded as an average-at-worst defender who has (and could again) played in center when needed.

The biggest drawback to Yelich's offensive game is his lack of power. He's tall and lanky but neither his swing nor his approach are geared for power. The result is a career .116 ISO and one professional season in which he homered more than 14 times. In theory, Yelich could add more pop as he matures, though he's so good at what he does that leaving him be might be for the best. Either way, he's not going to threaten Stanton for the team lead in home runs anytime soon.

As for the contract itself, you have to go back to Ryan Braun's extension in 2008 to find an outfielder with comparable service time (MLS) who received more than $45 million. The best and most recent comparisons to Yelich's deal are Andrew McCutchen (six years, $51.5 million), Jay Bruce (six years, $51 million), and Justin Upton (six years, $51.25 million)—and they all had roughly a year or more MLS than Yelich does now. Here's a look of their numbers at the time of each extension:

Player

Age

PA

BA/OBP/SLG

WARP

WARP/600

Yelich

23

933

.285/.365/.400

4.7

3.0

McCutchen

24

1,824

.276/.365/.458

12

3.9

Bruce

23

1,412

.257/.327/.474

8.5

3.6

Upton

22

1,157

.272/.350/.485

4.8

2.5

FRAA is less kind to Yelich's defense than the eye test or other defensive metrics, so this could undersell his performance to date. Nonetheless, the biggest difference between Yelich and the others is, unsurprisingly, power production.

Expect to see questions about the timing of this extension. Yelich wouldn't have qualified for arbitration until after next season, so the Marlins are making a commitment two years before he started to make real money. That doesn't make this a bad idea or poor contract—Yelich is, again, a well-rounded, above-average player whose skill set projects favorably heading forward—it's just unusual to see a franchise known for its thriftiness rush to their checkbook, especially when the contract itself is worth a little more than expected—perhaps due to a sin tax for Miami's past behavior, as Matthew Trueblood suggested?

Presumably Jennings didn't want to risk Yelich getting a whiff of arbitration, or enjoying a breakout season and upping the cost beyond Miami's means. Whatever the case, you can understand why Jennings was eager to keep Yelich in town.