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Marlins' Adeiny Hechavarria declines contract extension

While the 25-year old shortstop turned down Miami's offer, talks with Christian Yelich have also stalled.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

One of Miami's offseason goals was extending Giancarlo Stanton, and after that deal got done in November, the club announced it was working on signing several other members of a young core, including Christian Yelich and Adeiny Hechavarria. President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill noted extension talks were ongoing in December, but according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, Hechavarria declined the club's offer while talks with Yelich have stalled.

Talks have stalled between the Marlins and left fielder Christian Yelich on a long-term deal --- a significant gap remains --– and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria also has declined the Marlins’ initial multiyear offer. Yelich isn’t a free agent until after 2019, Hechavarria after 2018. Both were interested in multiyear contracts but not at the money offered.

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Miami rightfully was trying to lock up its core, predominantly because Stanton is expected to remain with the Marlins for at least the next six seasons, and the club wants to compete over that span. Jose Fernandez and Marcell Ozuna were also reportedly extension candidates, however Fernandez is represented by Scott Boras, making any long-term deal a challenge to complete.

Hechavarria, 25, has proven to be a consistent defensive shortstop who is still improving offensively. In 146 games with the Marlins last season, he posted a .276/.308/.356 batting line to complement one home run and 34 RBIs. The Marlins see him as a franchise-type shortstop, and Hechavarria did play well at Marlins Park in 2014. He is more of a gap to gap hitter, and the power may follow with more experience.

While Hechavarria was slotted seventh or eighth in the lineup for much of last season, Yelich batted leadoff in the absence of Rafael Furcal. Yelich is projected to be a number two or three hitter, and had a notable 2014 campaign. In 144 games, Yelich posted a .284/.362/.402 line while driving in 54 runs to complement nine home runs. He, too, is seen as a key part of the Marlins' future, and helped Miami's outfield become one of the best in baseball in 2014.

Neither Hechavarria nor Yelich had notable salaries last season, but the fact that neither appears to be open to the conversation is significant. The Stanton deal is indicative of the Marlins' mindset, at least for the time being, but both could be looking to improve and request larger deals moving forward. Miami has not sought to lock up several starters at once as they have this offseason, but the inability to get deals done may suggest they are still carefully monitoring the payroll.

Both Hechavarria and Yelich are controllable, and there may not be a sense of urgency to get a deal done. But if the Marlins want to remain competitive, keeping core players on the roster is essential.