The Seattle Mariners and All-Star rookie outfielder Julio Rodríguez have 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:
A historic day for Julio and Mariners fans!— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 27, 2022
We have agreed to a long-term contract extension with All-Star Julio Rodríguez, including 12-guaranteed years through the 2034 season and options that could run through the 2039 season. #SeaUsRise pic.twitter.com/JXXQ8IDn5X
The initial guarantee is 12 years and $210 million, reports Ken Rosenthal. With the deal beginning next season, that gets Rodríguez through the 2034 season, as mentioned in the Mariners' announcement. From there, Rosenthal reports a five-year, $90 million player option, meaning Rodríguez can make this into a 17-year, $300 million deal.
A guarantee of at least $210 million makes Rodríguez's extension the largest contract ever for a player with fewer than two years of major-league service time. 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.
Rodríguez, 21, has quickly realized the promise that made him one of the top overall prospects in all of baseball coming into 2022. In 108 games for Seattle this season, Rodríguez has authored a slash line of .269/.328/.471 with 20 home runs and 23 stolen bases. That combination of power and speed recently allowed Rodríguez to become just the 12th rookie ever to achieve a 20-20 season. As well, he's thus far graded out as a defensive asset at the vital position of center field. Rodríguez stands ashonors.
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Prior to his extension being finalized, 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 out of the Dominican Republic. Thereupon, he thrived in the Mariners' system and advanced quickly. Prior to being promoted to Seattle, Rodríguez had a .955 OPS across parts of three seasons despite being much younger than his peer group at every rung.
Rodríguez this season has been a vital part of a Mariners team that is presently on pace for 88 wins and occupying the final wild-card position in the AL. The Mariners haven't made the postseason since 2001, which is the longest playoff drought in major North American professional sports.