Mariners signal star rookie Julio Rodríguez to a long-term contract extension

Julius Rodriguez

SATISFACTION

The Seattle Mariners and All-Star rookie outfielder Julio Rodríguez have signed a long-term renewal in what could be one of the biggest deals in Major League Baseball history. The Mariners announced the deal during Friday night’s game:

The initial warranty is 12 years and $210 million, reports Ken Rosenthal. With the start of the next season, Rodríguez is getting through the 2034 season as mentioned in the Mariners’ announcement. From there, Rosenthal reports a five-year, $90 million player option, meaning Rodríguez can turn it into a 17-year, $300 million deal.

A minimum $210 million guarantee makes Rodríguez’s renewal the largest-ever contract for a player with less than two years of major league service. The current largest overall contract in MLB history is the $426.5 million extension that Mike Trout signed with the Los Angeles Angels in March 2019.

21-year-old Rodríguez quickly made good on the promise that made him one of the best prospects in all of baseball in 2022. In 108 games for Seattle this season, Rodríguez has posted a .269/.328/.471 slash with 20 home runs and 23 stolen bases. That combination of power and speed recently allowed Rodríguez to become only the 12th rookie of all time to achieve a 20-20 season. In addition, he has so far proved to be a defensive asset in the important midfield position. Rodriguez stands there one of the frontrunners for American League Rookie of the Year honors

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Before his renewal was completed, Rodríguez would have been slated for free agency after the 2027 season. Rodríguez originally signed with the Mariners Organization in 2017 as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic. He then thrived in the Mariners’ system and advanced rapidly. Prior to his promotion to Seattle, Rodríguez had a .955 OPS for portions of three seasons despite being much younger than his peer group at every level.

Rodríguez has been a key part of a Mariners team this season that is currently on its way to 88 wins and holds the last wildcard position in the AL. The Mariners haven’t made it through the postseason since 2001, the longest playoff drought in major North American professional sports.

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