The Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly offered a record contract extension to infielder Wander Franco, according to Yancen Pujols of El Caribe, a news outlet in Franco’s native Dominican Republic.
Franco, who came in third in American League Rookie of the Year voting on Monday, was offered a contract offer that was at least 10 years in length and somewhere between the $150-$200 million range.
If Wander Franco would agree to that offer from the Tampa Bay Rays, it would smash the previous record set by Ronald Acuna, Jr.
If Tampa Bay Rays infielder Wander Franco would accept the offer, he and the Rays would smash the current record for a contract extension for a player with less than a year of service time. The current record for an extension for a player with less than a year of service time is for outfielder Ronald Acuna, Jr. of the Atlanta Braves. Acuna, Jr.’s extension was for eight years and $100 million.
Pujols reports that Franco’s camp is “studying the offer,” but they are expected to give the Rays a counteroffer.
Franco made his MLB debut with the Rays this season and despite only playing in 70 games, he came in third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting, an award that his teammate Randy Arozerena won.
Franco, who was MLB.com’s top overall prospect for each of the last two seasons, was the youngest player in baseball in 2021 but he looked like a seasoned veteran as he slashed .288/.347/.463 with seven homers, 39 RBI, and an OPS+ of 129. In 63 games at shortstop, he also had 6 DRS, which would put him well on his way to winning a Gold Glove if he would have qualified.
He also went 7-for-19 (.368 average) in the American League Division Series in four games.
Call To The Pen’s David Hill made the case that the Rays should extend Franco this offseason just yesterday in this article.
If the Rays and Franco can get a deal done, it would be a huge move for both sides as Franco would break the record and the Rays would show that they are willing to spend some money and try to stay in playoff contention, as they have tried to do four each of the last four seasons and most of the last decade-plus.