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Star rookie Julio Rodriguez to sign historic contract to stay with Mariners

The 21-year-old could earn as much as $470 million, which would be MLB's most lucrative contract ever.

SEATTLE — Julio Rodriguez is reportedly finalizing a contract extension worth over $200 million with the Seattle Mariners Friday morning, as the team positions its future around its star centerfielder. 

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported that Rodriguez' extension will be for 14 years and $210 million guaranteed

ESPN's Jeff Passan tweeted a thread outlining the specifics of Rodriguez' historic deal. 

Passan said Rodriguez' extension could be for eight, 13, 16 or 18 years and would be the largest MLB contract ever at $470 million if he maxed out all of his contract incentives. The base of Rodriguez' contract is eight years and $120 million, putting him with the Mariners until at least 2029, Passan said.

After the 2028 season is completed, the Mariners will have a "club option" for eight or 10 years to add on top of the original eight-year extension. If the Mariners use the club option, Rodriguez is guaranteed at least $320 million, according to Passan. He can also make more money depending on how he fares in American League Most Valuable Player voting. 

Passan noted, however, that if the Mariners don't use the club option after the seventh year, Rodriguez has a "player option" worth five years and $90 million. The Mariners' face of the franchise could turn down the option at that time and become a free agent before his 30th birthday, Passan noted in his thread. 

The length of Rodriguez' contract puts him in rarefied history in Major League Baseball. The last time a player signed a contract of 14 years or more was Fernando Tatis in February 2021.

"And if he turns into the monster that he shown he is in his rookie season, it could be the most financially lucrative deal in American sports history," Passan said in a tweet.

Rodriguez has totaled 20 home runs, 64 runs batted in, 64 runs and 23 stolen bases along with a .269 batting average in his standout rookie MLB season. He's produced 4.3 wins above replacement for the Mariners, the 10th highest mark in the American League, according to Baseball Reference. 

For his efforts, Rodriguez became one of just 14 position players under the age of 22 named to All-Star team in their rookie season. That list is littered with current and future Hall of Famers like Albert Pujols, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Tim Raines, Johnny Bench and Rod Carew.

In his first home run derby, Rodriguez battled with Juan Soto, arguably the best hitter in Major League Baseball. He finished as the first-ever player to hit multiple 30-HR rounds in a single derby. The burgeoning superstar already surpassed Ken Griffey Jr.'s (59) all-time mark in the Home Run Derby before the final even kicked off.

Rodríguez finished his first derby with 81 home runs. Soto, the eventual winner, had 53 home runs.

It was then that Rodriguez' star was born. 

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The burgeoning superstar has been instrumental in bringing the Mariners to the brink of making the playoffs for the first time since 2001. In May, the Mariners nearly matched a franchise record with 14 consecutive wins.

Seattle has a 91.3% chance of claiming one of six playoff spots in the American League, according to ESPN.com.

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