Rays Lock Wander Franco to 11-Year, $185 Million Contract

Wander Franco. Image by Bryan Green/Wikipedia

The Tampa Bay Rays are taking no chances with their young star shortstop Wander Franco. Despite Franco having just one season in the majors under his belt, the Rays opted to sign the 20-year-old to a massive 11-year contract.

According to reports, the base value of the agreement between the two sides is $185 million. However, Franco’s contract could end up being worth $223 million with a 12th-year option and bonuses.

Franco had an impressive outing in 2021, finishing the regular season with a .288 batting average, seven home runs, and 39 RBIs in 70 games. He was even better in the playoffs, hitting .368 and adding two homers and four RBIs.

This was enough for the Rays to shatter the franchise record with Franco’s deal. The previous record was a six-year, $100 million contract that All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria inked back in 2012. It is also the biggest deal handed to the player with less than one full year of MLB service, topping the $100 million over eight years given by the Atlanta Braves to Ronald Acuna Jr.

The Rays signed Wander Franco in 2017 as one of the top international prospects in the class. He was considered the number one prospect in baseball in both 2020 and 2021 but didn’t make the Rays active roster until June.