The Seattle Mariners and All-Star rookie outfielder Julio Rodríguez are reportedly close to a lengthy extension that could be one of the biggest contracts in Major League Baseball history.
According to Jesse Sanchez, the extension would guarantee Rodríguez well into the nine digits, and the total value of the deal could end at record highs. As Jeff Passan details in a Twitter thread, the deal could run for eight, 13, 16 or even 18 years, depending on the extent to which the intricate arrangement of player and club options is exercised. Maxed-out options and incentives could bring the total value of the contract to a record $470 million. Sort of a bottom line from the Passan thread:
A guarantee of at least $210 million would make Rodríguez’s reported extension the largest contract ever for a player with less than two years of service in the Major League. The current largest overall contract in MLB history is the $426.5 million extension Mike Trout signed with the Los Angeles Angels in March 2019.
Rodríguez, 21, has quickly realized the promise that made him one of the best overall prospects in baseball in 2022. In 108 games for Seattle this season, Rodríguez has written a slash of .269/.328/.471 with 20 homeruns and 23 stolen bases. That combination of power and speed recently allowed Rodríguez to become the 12th rookie to ever complete a 20-20 season. Also, he has so far been rated as a defensive asset in the vital midfield position. Rodríguez is one of the frontrunners for the American League Rookie of the Year award.
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Before an extension is finalized, Rodríguez would be free from employment agencies after the 2027 season. Rodríguez originally signed with the Mariners organization in 2017 as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic. After that, he flourished in the Mariners’ system and made rapid progress. Before being promoted to Seattle, Rodríguez had an OPS of .955 in stretches of three seasons, despite being much younger than his peers in every sport.
Rodríguez has been a vital part of a Mariners team this season that are currently on track for 88 wins and occupying the last wildcard position in the AL. The Mariners haven’t made it to the postseason since 2001, marking the longest playoff drought in major North American professional sports.