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Rays to sign Wander Franco to 12-year contract

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ESPN reports the contract is 11 years/$185 million guaranteed, with a team option for year 12, maxing out the value at $223 million.

MLB: ALDS-Workouts Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays are poised to sign rookie of the year candidate and multi-year top prospect in the game Wander Franco to a record breaking contract extension, according to Marc Topkin at the Tampa Bay Times:

The news comes after a report last Thursday that Wander Franco had a contract in hand and was in negotiations with the Rays on a long term deal. Tampa Bay has never signed a contract with player options or a no-trade clause, and seems unlikely to have included such clauses in this deal either.

Update: Contract details, from Passan:

In wrapping your mind around this length of a deal, one could consider this two contract extensions pasted together, where the first portion is Franco’s six-year rookie contract at $60 million, with an additional five-year contract for $122 million and a one-year club option at $25 million. Escalators for specific achievements (Passan reports MVP votes) are how Franco reaches the top value of $223 million.

In his rookie season, which totaled only 70 games played, Wander Franco was a leading force atop the lineup for the American League East’s best team. Quick napkin math would require Franco to provide the Rays with 30-40 wins over the life of this contract to return market value. During his rookie season, Franco was already playing at an at-least 5-win pace at age 20.

Once signed, Franco’s contract extension would rank ninth among the largest dollar value contracts in MLB history, just ahead of Clayton Kershaw’s $215 million contract from 2014.

While it is not surprising that the Rays would have pursued a longterm deal with Franco, just as the team had previously done with Evan Longoria or pitchers David Price and Blake Snell, it is certainly surprising that the team has locked in 12 seasons. For context, the Tampa Bay Rays do not even have a stadium to play in during years 7-12 of this deal.

Nevertheless, if you or your loved ones were finally considering a Rays jersey this holiday season, I have a suggestion for who might be a safe bet.

JT Morgan contributed to this article.