MLB Rumors: Wander Franco and the Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly agreed on a contract extension. The deal is reportedly for 11 years with $182 million guaranteed — Jeff Passan says that there is a 12th year team option at $25 million, a $3 million assignment bonus if Franco is traded, and $3 million escalators if he finishes in the top five in MVP voting, with the maximum value potentially being $223 million.
Franco, 20, was the consensus top prospect in baseball heading into the season. The Rays did not call him up until the halfway mark of the year, but once up he slashed .288/.347/.463, with most of appearances being at shortstop. Franco had a 3.5 bWAR in his half season of action, and finished 3rd in the American League Rookie of the Year balloting.
While Franco may well be leaving money on the table, $182 million guaranteed for a guy with less than a year’s worth of service time is really hard to pass up. I can’t blame him for taking the deal. And assuming the team option is exercised, he’ll still enter the free agent market after his age 32 season.