Julio Rodriguez contract details: Mariners ink rookie phenom to massive extension

The Mariners will keep their superstar rookie in Seattle for a long time.

According to’s Jesse Sanchez, the Mariners have signed Julio Rodriguez, the front-runner for AL rookie of the year, to a massive extension that has the potential to grow to $450 million over the course of the deal. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported the contract was for 14 years.

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Rodriguez went into the season as one of baseball’s consensus top prospects, and he’s lived up to the bill. He leads all rookie hitters with 20 home runs and is second to Bobby Witt Jr. with 23 stolen bases ahead of Witt’s 24. His .799 OPS is third among qualifying rookies in the American League behind Adleyrutschman of the Orioles and Oscar Gonzalez of The Guardians He ranks second in fWAR with a 3.5, behind justrutschman, according to fangraphs.

Rodriguez also put in an impressive performance in the 2022 Home Run Derby, finishing a close second behind Juan Soto in a thrilling finish.

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With the contract, Rodriguez becomes the latest rookie to sign a massive renewal to keep him with the team he started his career with. Here’s a look at the details of his new deal.

Julio Rodriguez contract details

Sanchez reported Rodriguez’s deal guarantees him at least $200 million, with the potential for it to grow to $450 million or more. Passan reported that the total guaranteed is $210 million and can exceed $400 million.

Between the $210 million and $450 million figure, there’s plenty of scope to hit that second number. While no details on the deal have been reported, it’s likely packed with incentives as the team expects him to continue his presence as one of the biggest stars in the game.

The Mariners have awarded several major renewals and contracts in recent years, but none quite as big as Rodriguez’s. During the offseason, they signed free agent and reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray to a five-year, $115 million deal. They’ve also signed younger players like JP Crawford, Evan White and Marco Gonzales to recent renewals, with Crawford’s five-year, $51 million deal being the largest of the three offers.

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For Rodriguez, this deal means a massive pay rise. He made just $700,000 in his rookie season and more than doubled his earnings in 2022 when he finished runner-up in the Home Run Derby for a $750,000 payout.

Rodriguez was previously under team control until the 2028 season when he would be in his last year of refereeing. Now he will not go into free hands until 2037, when he will be 36 years old.

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This section will be updated as more details are reported

Similar contracts

The deal offered to Rodriguez continues the recent trend of teams offering young stars early in their careers massive long-term renewals to avoid expensive free agency during their prime.

The most recent deal so completed was when the Rays signed Wander Franco to an 11-year, $185 million deal last November to ensure their former No. 1 overall pick would play until 2034, when he 33 years old would stay in Tampa Bay.

Here’s a look at several other players who made deals early in their MLB careers:

player team year signed Years dollar MLB games played
Tim Anderson White socks 2017 6 25 million dollars 99
Paul DeJong cardinals 2018 6 $26 million 108
Scott Kingery Phillies 2018 6 $24 million 0
Ozzie Albies brave 2019 7 35 million dollars 226
Eloy Jimenez White socks 2019 6 $43 million 0
Ronald Acuna Jr. brave 2019 8th 100 million dollars 115
Evan White sailors 2019 6 $55 million 0
Louis Robert White socks 2020 6 50 million dollars 0
Fernando Tatis Jr. father 2021 14 $340 million 143
Wander Franco rays 2021 11 $185 million 70

Rodriguez’s deal is the most similar to that of Tatis and Franco, although he has a chance of being worth more than either of them.

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There is an obvious incentive for teams to sign players early on to these deals. It ensures they are in control of Superstars in their prime without worrying about losing them in free hands or having to spend even more depending on their market value as they continue to establish themselves in the big leagues .

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It ensures the players a significant salary increase from the rookie contracts already signed and acts as a kind of insurance in the event of injury or a drop in performance.

Some of the above deals look like bargains as players like Tim Anderson, Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Luis Robert have given their teams immense value in discount deals. Others, like Paul DeJong and Scott Kingery, turned early career hype into solid paydays, though DeJong struggled to restore his rookie form and Kingery had just .454 OPS in 52 games over the past three seasons.

If Rodriguez’s deal can reach as high as $450 million, it would be the largest single contract in MLB history and would exceed the $426 million 12-year extension Mike Trout signed with the Angels. This deal was fully guaranteed.

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