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Inside J-Rod's multi-layered extension with the Mariners

The rookie has some eyes on him this year, and it just got sweeter for Julio Rodriguez. PIC: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Admittedly, I didn't know much about Julio Rodríguez before the 2022 MLB season.

But you can sure bet that after a great spring training and this heartwarming video, the J-Rod show was on.

In his rookie season, 21-year-old Julio Rodríguez is having a respectable campaign. Aside from his down-to-earth demeanor and his nature of being a great teammate, he's been an offensive threat for the Mariners all season long. Into the final stretch, he's got 20 home runs and 64 RBI's. J-Rod's freshman performance is good enough for him to sit comfortably at -400 odds to win the 2022 American League Rookie of the Year, well over Baltimore Orioles' catcher Adley Rutschmann's +300.

J-Rod went punch-for-punch with Juan Soto in this year's Home Run Derby, too. Here's a clip of him raking against Corey Seager.

Now, J-Rod's trajectory is about to get a whole lot sweeter. He signed a unique deal with the Mariners to keep him in Seattle for 8, 13, 16, or 18 years.

Let's dig a bit further.

The base of Rodriguez's deal is a $120 million contract over 8 years - one of which is his current rookie season. That'll take him right up to 2029 regardless of his performance.

An option for the club kicks in at that point. They'll be able to extend him for either 8 or ten years, in which he'd be guaranteed at least $320 million. Obviously, that'll be an incentive-laden deal. Per Jeff Passan, that depends on quite a few factors; MVP voting, wins, World Series championships, and how the Mariners finish.

If the Mariners don't end up picking pick up the option, Rodriguez has some of the most power in recent free agent negotiations. He can exercise a player option for 5 years and $90 million guaranteed.

I don't think we've seen a free agent deal close to the sheer power Rodriguez has in this scenario. Hell, Bobby Bonilla getting $1m every year - for not even playing - pales in comparison.


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