Seattle Mariners star Julio Rodriguez is signing a huge contract extension to say in the Emerald City, and it might come at a discount.
It’s easy to say that latter fact now, especially given Rodriguez is playing so well and came in second place in this year’s Home Run Derby. But it’s tough to see the AL Rookie of the Year frontrunner getting worse from here on out.
Signing a contract extension in his rookie season — while seen as cashing in on his abilities — could also be limiting his earning potential long-term. But, to each his own.
We have seen similar contracts work out for the better, and the worse. Fernando Tatis Jr. is signed through 2035, but was just suspended for PED use. Ronald Acuña Jr., meanwhile, signed a long-term extension in Atlanta which now looks like an incredible discount as compared to his market value.
Rodriguez is slashing .269/.328/.471 with a .799 OPS and a 132 OPS+. He’s the first rookie in Mariners history to have a 20/20 season.
Julio Rodriguez contract details: Mariners
Rodriguez’s contract is expected to guarantee him north of $200 million guaranteed, with up to $450 million in incentives.
That seems like a lot, but it’s also a lot of wiggle room for Seattle. If Rodriguez falters, they will not be blamed for investing in one of the top young talents in the game, and will be out $200 million long-term. Should Rodriguez succeed, he will receive Juan Soto money and remain one of the faces of the game for decades to come.
All in the Emerald City. For far too long, players like Rodriguez have left Seattle. Now, Mariners general manager Jerry DiPoto gets a chance to keep one around.
If it’s a slight overpay, so be it.