January 23, 2022

Franco inks historic deal in ‘nice day’ for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Wander Franco and the Tampa Bay Rays have finalized an $182 million, 11-year contract that features a membership possibility for the 2033 season.

The shortstop’s deal, which may very well be price as much as $223 million if the membership possibility is exercised and incentives are reached, was introduced Saturday.

“This can be a nice day for Wander and for the Rays, and is proof of the mutual belief between Wander and our group,” Rays principal proprietor Stuart Sternberg mentioned in a press release. “We’re dedicated to fielding aggressive groups yr in and yr out, and all of us anticipate that Wander’s presence and contributions will play a big half in sustaining our customary of excellence.”

Tampa Bay gained the AL East in 2021, however was eradicated by Boston within the ALDS.

The contract is the most important monetary dedication to a participant within the Rays’ 24-year historical past. It is also the most important deal in main league historical past for a participant with lower than a yr of main league service time.

Franco is the fifth participant with lower than a yr of massive league expertise to signal a long-term extension with the crew. The others are third baseman Evan Longoria (2008), left-hander Matt Moore (2011), right-hander Chris Archer (2014) and second baseman Brandon Lowe (2019).

“The tempo at which Wander has developed speaks to his potential,” Rays President of Baseball Operations Erik Neander mentioned in a press release. “We’ve seen him do particular issues on the sector, notably for a participant that’s solely 20 years previous. He is an exceptionally pushed, budding celebrity who can contribute to our success for a very long time.”

Franco made his main league debut June 22 and hit a three-run homer. He batted .288 with 18 doubles, 5 triples, seven homers and 39 RBI in 70 video games. He completed third within the American League Rookie of the 12 months voting.

Franco put collectively a 43-game on-base streak to tie Cincinnati’s Frank Robinson (1956) for the longest in main league historical past amongst gamers beneath 21. He went 7 for 19 (.368) with two homers and 4 RBI in 4 postseason video games.

Franco would have been eligible without spending a dime company after the 2027 season. He will get a $5 million signing bonus, with $2.5 million funds on Dec. 1 and June 1, 2022.

The yearly wage breakdown is: $1 million in 2022, $2 million in 2023 and 2024, $eight million in 2025, $15 million in 2026, $22 million in 2027 and $25 million in every of the final 5 seasons. The 2033 membership possibility is $25 million, with a $2 million buyout.

Franco’s deal additionally contains wage escalators if he finishes within the high 5 in voting for AL MVP. If he’s traded earlier than April 2, 2029, Franco receives a $three million task bonus. It drops to $2 million if he’s dealt on or after April 2, 2029.