11:44 am: The exact terms of the contract are a $210 million guarantee over 14 years, ESPN’s Jeff Bassan Tweets. However, Passan adds that it is a very complex structure that includes player and club options. This $450 million cap would attract a lot of interest, but is virtually unprecedented for any player to take full advantage of the incentives, escalators, and options requirements needed to secure maximum long-term contract value.
11:29 am: Mariners finalize an extension with quarterback and AL Rookie of the Year nominee Julio RodriguezMLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports (Twitter link). Rodriguez is expected to guarantee more than $200 million. There are options, incentives, and escalators that could make the deal worth about $450 million over a period of time that has yet to be determined.
Rodriguez, 21, broke camp with the Mariners this season, and after two grueling weeks to start the year, he shot to stardom immediately and established himself as one of the frontrunners for the Rookie of the Year awards. He currently hits .269/.328/.471 with 20 home runs, 19 doubles, triples and 23 steals (in 29 attempts)—plus above-average defensive contributions in the center field.
Those numbers are at least slightly skewed due to a poor start to the year that Rodriguez fought .136/.208/.159 with a 45% strike rate. Dating April 22, Rodriguez has mashed up a .285/.342/.508 clip. This production is about 46% better than the league average after park and league weight, on the WRC+ scale, putting Rodriguez in a three-way tie with Alex Bergman It was also recently extended Austin Riley Ranked 12th among the best qualifying hitters in the league. Rodriguez also ranks 13th in both average exit speed (92 mph) and hardest hit rate (49.6%) in that time, and his 14.9% barrel average at this stretch is MLB’s ninth best mark.
Add the fact that he did all this at the age of 21 and after skipping Triple A altogether, and Rodriguez’s rookie season is even more awesome. Given this youth and lack of underage seasoning, it’s entirely possible that while Rodriguez is already among the best hitters in the game, we haven’t yet seen his best.
From a defensive standpoint, Rodriguez has held more than his midfield position this season, turning positive marks into defending points saved (2), absolute area rating (0.3), and averaged (5). Several survey reports prior to his MLB debut suggested that as Rodriguez gets older and continues to fill in, he could be destined for a hole in the outer corner, but given his raw strength of 70 or even 80 degrees and the hard work he’s done in the center this In the season, he will have the bats and the defensive pieces will likely be an above-average contributor to the right or left field.
The $210 million guarantee on this contract will give Rodriguez the record for the largest contract signed by a player with less than a year of Major League service time. This distinction currently belongs to Rays shortstop Franco’s walkwho signed an 11-year contract worth $182 million last November.
Rodriguez would easily drop this sign, even though it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. Franco was not promoted until mid-season and his deal was signed in the winter, when Rays left six full seasons of club control over him. With Rodriguez on the opening day roster, he will have a full year of service in 2022 and will have “only” five additional years of club control remaining. In this respect, Rodriguez could technically be considered more of a one-plus player (between one and two years of service time), although even when viewing the contract through this lens, it’s still a record-breaking deal; K Brian Hayes“The $70 million Pittsburgh extension was the previous record for a player with one to two years in service.
Whatever class of service one thinks applies more appropriately to Rodriguez, this new 14-year deal now stands as the largest contract ever pledged for a player with less than two years of Major League service time. In that aspect, Rodriguez and the Major League Baseball Players Association are sure to be delighted to see the former stretches of young stars move forward.
After all that said, there is still a possibility that the contract will be in favor of the sailors. Rodriguez’s earnings will likely be close to the league’s minimum salary for the next two seasons (plus any payments from the collectively negotiated bonus pool to players prior to arbitration). A player with early difficulty and dominance would probably do well in judging, and while we can never tell exactly How much is earned through this process, arbitration is generally based on precedent. Find recent comparisons, Mocky Pets He earned $57.5 million for the three seasons of judging. Putting Rodriguez in that wide area, his remaining five years of club control could have netted him somewhere in the $60 million range – perhaps a few more million if he picked up the Homecoming Player of the Year award and/or pushed the Bates precedent a little further. .
If the Betts is even an inaccurate yardstick for Rodriguez’s judging, the Mariners are looking to lock up what would have been nine agent-free seasons at a total cost in the $150 million range. That $16.67 million annual value obviously pales in comparison to what Rodriguez would have made in the open market had he gone year-to-year and hit the free agent market before his 27-year season, but that’s the nature of an early contract extension. Clearly, there is a significant risk of injury or underperformance for Rodriguez, all of which are included in the relative discount rate for those open market seasons.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that if the contract contains player options and/or opt-out clauses, as Passan suggests, Rodriguez could hit the “eject” button on the deal and get into a free agency at an early date anyway. The $210 million figure is his guaranteed minimum if he plays a 14-year term for this deal, but opting out in his late twenties or early thirties can change his calculus (as can any prize-based incentives/escalators and club choices – which are Usually bargaining for all of them in extensions of this kind).
More is coming.