MLB: Mariners, Julio Rodriguez agree to massive extension


The Seattle Mariners agreed to a lengthy contract extension with All-Star rookie Julio Rodriguez that reportedly has the potential to be worth nearly a half-billion dollars.

Without announcing dollar figures, the team confirmed on Friday that Rodriguez landed a seven-year deal for 2023-29. The player and the club have options for the 2030-34 seasons, and the Mariners have options for 2035-39.

If all options are executed, the contract would max out at $470 million, ESPN reported.

Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a statement, “Julio is among the most exciting players in the game and has only scratched the surface of what’s to come. We feel the uniqueness of this deal befits the person. His infectious personality and ability on the field are only surpassed by his character away from it.

“We are thrilled that generations of Mariners fans will have the privilege of watching him play in T-Mobile Park for many years to come.”

Rodriguez added in a statement, “This is a great day for my family and me. I have always wanted to spend my whole career here, in Seattle, with this team and with these fans. I want to win here, in Seattle. That was what I told my agents, and what I told Jerry. I am so happy to be here.”

The new deal would kick in next season and run through 2029, with a base value of $120 million, per ESPN. After that, the Mariners can pick up an option of eight to 10 years that would be worth between $200 million and $350 million. The value reportedly would be tied to performance clauses during the first eight years of the deal.

If the Mariners decide not to pick up the option, the choice would fall to Rodriguez. He could choose to opt in to a five-year deal worth $90 million or, at age 29, become a free agent.

The 21-year-old center fielder entered Friday batting .269 with 20 homers, 23 steals and 64 RBIs in 108 games.

Rodriguez was the American League’s Rookie of the Month in May and June and was runner-up to Juan Soto at the Home Run Derby on July 18 at Dodger Stadium.

Baseball’s biggest contract belongs to Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who is playing on a 12-year, $426.5 million deal with an average annual value of $35.5 million. Two New York pitchers — Max Scherzer ($43.3 million) of the Mets and Gerrit Cole ($36 million) of the Yankees — have contracts with higher annual average values.

–Field Level Media

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