The Toronto Blue Jays have Vladimir Guerrero Jr. under team control for three more years, but the two-time All-Star would like to be with the organization for a lot longer.
Speaking to Gregor Chisholm of the Toronto Star, Guerrero explained he "would love to play here my entire career."
"Since I got to the big leagues, I've always felt that way," Guerrero said through his interpreter, Hector Lebron. "Especially now when you start feeling the love from the fans and the city."
Coming into the year, Guerrero told a fan in his Instagram story that the Blue Jays had not offered him a long-term contract.
There have been a number of long-term deals signed by young players in recent years. Fernando Tatis Jr. signed a 14-year, $340 million extension with the San Diego Padres in February 2021.
Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley (10 years, $212 million) and Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez (minimum eight years, $209 million) signed deals last month.
Guerrero is earning $7.9 million this season, his first year of arbitration. The 23-year-old's salary will increase exponentially if he continues to go through the arbitration process.
Based on track record, one could argue Guerrero deserves a more lucrative deal than Riley and Rodriguez. He finished second in American League MVP voting last season after leading the league with 48 homers, 123 runs, 363 total bases, a .401 on-base percentage and .601 slugging percentage.
Guerrero has also proved to be incredibly durable. Since 2020, he has only missed two total games.
The Blue Jays have $128.8 million in guaranteed salary commitments in 2023. The total doesn't include arbitration-eligible players such as Guerrero, Teoscar Hernandez, Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette.
This roster is going to start getting expensive, but it's hard to argue with the results they have produced on the field. The Blue Jays went 91-71 last season but missed the playoffs. They are currently in the top AL wild-card spot with an 82-63 record.