Seattle Mariners All-Star outfielder Julio Rodriguez is finalizing a contract with Seattle that will guarantee him $210 million over 14 years, according to a baseball official with direct knowledge of the deal.
The official spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the signing has not been finalized.
Rodriguez reached an agreement Thursday night with the Mariners that will guarantee him $240 million over 13 years, with an eight-year club option that could increase the total to $320 million over 16 years.
The Mariners want to delay an official announcement until Monday because of the weekend celebration of Ichiro Suzuki being inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame.
The deal, first reported by MLB.com, is the largest contract given to a Mariners player in franchise history.
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The contract could become the largest in baseball history, depending on how Rodriguez fares in the MVP voting during his first eight years.
The breakdown, according to a person with direct knowledge of the contract:
Rodriguez will earn a guaranteed $120 million, including a $15 million signing bonus, for the first eight years.
The Mariners can pick up an eight-year club option after 2028 for an additional $200 million, turning it into a $320 million contract. If they decline, Rodriguez can elect free agency or exercise a five-year, $90 million player option after 2029 that will guarantee a total of $210 million.
The club option of at least eight years will escalate depending on how he fares in the MVP voting.
The club option, according to The Athletic, will remain at $200 million only if he doesn’t receive any MVP votes the first eight years.
It rises to eight years, $240 million if he has at least two top-10 MVP finishes; eight- years, $260 million if four top-10 finishes; eight-years, $280 million if he wins an MVP and has a top-five finish or three top-five finishes; and 10 years, $350 million if he wins the MVP twice or has four top-five finishes.
So if Rodriguez turns into Mike Trout, the deal would pay him a total of $470 million.
Certainly, the Mariners have seen enough of Rodriguez, 21, to believe he will be a star. He already has become the face of the franchise.
He was the lone rookie and youngest player to make the All-Star Game this summer, and became the first Mariners’ player to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases since Mike Cameron in 2002. He achieved the feat in just 107 games, the quickest in American League history. He joined Ronald Acuna Jr., Mike Trout, Andruw Jones and Cesar Cedeno as the only players with at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in any 81-game span at the age of 21 or younger.
Rodriguez, who could earn bonuses exceeding $1.5 million this year under the new collective bargaining agreement, is hitting .269 with 20 homers, 64 RBI, 64 runs and 23 stolen bases for the season.
Now, he could be spending the rest of his career in a Mariners’ uniform with the contract including a full no-trade provision.