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Report: Julio Rodríguez, Mariners Agree to $210M Contract; Could Max out at $470M

Adam WellsAugust 26, 2022

Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Seattle Mariners rookie sensation Julio Rodríguez has reportedly agreed to an extension with the team that could turn into the richest deal in Major League Baseball history, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

ESPN's Jeff Passan first reported the two sides were closing in on a deal, also noting that the extension will span 14 years and include $210 million in guaranteed money:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

The structure of Julio Rodriguez's massive extension is very complicated, but the topline details, sources tell ESPN: $210 million guaranteed over 14 years with the ability to grow to well over $400M. Includes player and team options.<br><br>The great <a href="https://twitter.com/JesseSanchezMLB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JesseSanchezMLB</a> was on the deal.

Rosenthal shared additional details of the deal:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Julio Rodríguez’s deal with the Mariners, as <a href="https://twitter.com/JeffPassan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JeffPassan</a> said, will include a base of $120M for the first eight years. From there, it grows to a minimum of $320M if the Mariners exercise their option or $210M if the team declines and Rodríguez exercises his player option.

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Club option minimum 8/200 if J-Rod receives no MVP votes first 8 years. Here’s how it escalates:<br><br>Top 10 MVP 2/3 times, $240M.<br><br>Top 10 MVP 4 times, $260M.<br><br>MVP win and top 5 one other time or top 5 three times with no win, $280M.<br><br>Two MVPs or four top 5s without winning, $350M.

Rosenthal added that Rodríguez will also receive a full no-trade clause.

Rosenthal added more details:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

J-Rod deal with Mariners complete, source says. $210M guarantee for 12 years, not 14 as initially reported. $15M signing bonus now and $105M over seven years from 2023 to ‘29. Rest of guarantee is in five-year, $90M player option. Mariners must decide on club option after ‘28.

Per MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, Rodríguez could wind up receiving more than $450 million in the deal.

Passan provided additional details about the terms of the contract, which could range in length from eight to 18 years and the Mariners have to decide after the 2028 season if they are going to pick up their option with the value and length being determined by how Rodriguez fares in MVP voting:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

The base of the deal is for eight years and $120 million. It includes this season and runs through 2029. After 2028, the Mariners must decide whether to pick up a club option. The size and length of that depends on Rodriguez’s performance in MVP voting.

Mike Trout's $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels is currently the richest contract in MLB.

The guaranteed value of Rodríguez's contract is right in line with the $212 million extension Austin Riley signed with the Atlanta Braves earlier this month.

Riley's deal with the Braves is for 10 years and doesn't appear to include the massive escalators that Rodriguez can get over the course of his contract.

Another key difference is the age when both players signed their extensions. Riley is 25 and would have been eligible for free agency after the 2025 season. Rodríguez is 21 and was under team control through the 2028 season.

Earlier this week, appearing on The Mike Salk Sports Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM (h/t Brandon Gustafson of SeattleSports.com), Passan suggested Fernando Tatis Jr.'s 14-year, $340 million deal with the San Diego Padres as a potential comp for what a Rodríguez extension could look like.

"I think if the number doesn't start with a two, then Julio Rodríguez shouldn't even think about it," Passan said. "Here's the thing, we’re looking at a generationally excellent talent. We’re looking at a personality who is somebody around whom the franchise can build. We’re looking at a guy who, because of the age at which he ascended to the big leagues, is lined up to be a free agent as young as anyone in recent memory."

There was a tremendous amount of hype for Rodríguez coming into this season. He was ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com, behind Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals and Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles.

The Mariners included Rodríguez on their opening-day roster, and he hasn't disappointed. He was named to the All-Star team and is currently hitting .268/.328/.471 with 20 homers, 64 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 108 games.

Rodríguez broke Mike Trout's American League record for fewest games needed to reach the 20-20 threshold in a single season. He got there in 107 games, five fewer than Trout in 2013.

Seattle is also in the mix for a playoff spot this season for the first time since 2001. Its 68-57 record is 2.5 games head of the Orioles for the final wild-card spot in the AL.

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