Seattle Mariners and All-Star rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez has signed a long-term extension that could be one of the largest contracts in Major League Baseball history. The Mariners announced the deal during Friday night’s game:
The initial guarantee is 12 years and $210 million, reports Ken Rosenthal. With the deal beginning next season, Rodriguez will have until 2034 seasons, as noted in the Mariners’ announcement. From there, Rosenthal reported a five-year, $90 million player option, meaning Rodríguez could sign a 17-year, $300 million deal.
The guaranteed minimum of $210 million makes Rodriguez’s extension the largest ever for a player with less than two years of major-league service. The current largest total contract in MLB history is the $426.5 million extension Mike Trout signed with the Los Angeles Angels in March 2019.
Rodriguez, 21, quickly realized the promise of becoming one of the best prospects in all of baseball heading into 2022. In 108 games this season for Seattle, Rodriguez has posted a slash line of .269/.328/.471. 20 home runs and 23 stolen bases. That combination of power and speed recently allowed Rodriguez to become the 12th rookie to reach a 20-20 season. Also, he has so far been classified as a defensive asset in the key position of central midfield. Rodríguez is the frontrunner for the American League Rookie of the Year award.
Before finalizing his extension, Rodriguez would have been eligible for free agency after the 2027 season. Rodríguez signed with the Mariners organization in 2017 as an international free agent originally from the Dominican Republic. After that, he thrived in the Mariners’ system and quickly advanced. Before being promoted to Seattle, Rodriguez had a .955 OPS over three seasons despite being significantly younger than his peer group at every stage.
Rodriguez has been a key part of a Mariners team this season that is currently on pace for 88 wins and occupying the final wild-card spot in the AL. The Mariners have not made the postseason since 2001, the longest playoff drought in a major North American professional sport.