MLB superstars who should be next in line for contract extensions

There’s no greater feeling than realizing you have a franchise player on your hands in sports. Being able to sign that player to a long-term contract extension is an even greater feeling.

Recently, the Seattle Mariners were able to commit to their young 21-year old phenom Julio Rodriguez long-term, and sign him to a contract extension that guarantees the young outfielder $210 million and eventually could max out at $470 million. If he maxes out, this would be the richest deal in American sports history.

Here is a great graphic breakdown of his contract.

There are so many exceptional up-and-coming stars in baseball who are next in line for these kind of contracts. To this point, there have been only 23 contracts in MLB history to exceed the $200 million mark. As we all know, these crazed contracts began with Alex Rodriguez when he signed with the Texas Rangers back in 2000. Over 20 years later, more money is being thrown around, and there are some guys who will also be added to this list and receive huge contract extensions.

In order, these are three guys who should be next in line.

Shoehi Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

Whether it’s with the Angels or another team, Shoehi Ohtani will receive the largest contract ever in sports … and rightfully so. With how dominant Ohtani has been, it’s hard to imagine he signed a two-year, $8.5 million deal in 2021 to buy out his first two years of arbitration.

Currently, Ohtani is under club control (arbitration) for one more year in 2023 before reaching free agency. A starting point in negotiations could be looking at the recent extensions handed out to Mookie Betts (12 years, $365 million), Francisco Lindor (10 years, $341 million), and Rodriguez’ most recent extension. Obviously, Ohtani has a more unique approach to his payday since he is a two-way player. Best-case scenario for the Angels is they keep both Mike Trout and Ohtani, but it’ll be tough to build around after roughly $500 million being paid to just two players. When it is all said and done, history will be made when Ohtani is locked up long-term.

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

The 2017 American League Most Valuable Player is prone to win the honor for the second time in his career. Prior to the start of the 2022 MLB season, Judge took a huge gamble and rejected a a seven-year, $213.5 million contract offer from the New York Yankees. In hindsight, he made a brilliant decision betting on himself. As DJ Khaled would say, “The price went up.”

The 30-year-old is hitting .297 with an MLB-leading 51 home runs entering Wednesday’s play. In addition to that, Judge has been healthy and should play more than 140 games two years in a row. Behind Ohtani, Judge is one of the most valuable players in the league, and if the Yankees want to remain competitive and get their shot at a World Series title, Judge has to be a part of the future in order to do so. After his extraordinary performance this season, he has a huge payday coming this offseason.

Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

Over the past 15 years, the Boston Red Sox typically have been one of the most respected franchises in all of baseball. During that span, they’ve won three World Series. This season though, has been greatly disappointing. This past offseason, Boston signed middle infielder Trevor Story to a six-year, $140 million contract before committing to their stars already on the roster in Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. Story has had a lackluster season, hitting only .227 and 15 home runs. Meanwhile, Bogaerts is hitting .306, 11 home runs, and has recorded 140 hits.

Due to this mistreatment of Bogaerts by the Red Sox organization, it is highly unlikely he returns to the team next season. Bogaerts still has four years and $80 million left on the six-year, $120 million extension he signed with the Boston back in 2019, but he can opt out for the first and only time this coming offseason.

With a shorter track list of success, Marcus Semien received a seven-year, $175 million deal last offseason with a desperate Texas Rangers team. With that being said, Bogaerts should have no trouble surpassing more than $200 million.

There is a slight possibility the Red Sox work things out with the 29-year-old shortstop, but there are huge indicators pointing towards him leaving. HIs agent is Scott Boras, who we all know is a legendary negotiator for huge contracts for his clients. Whether wounds get healed in Boston, or he takes his talents elsewhere, Bogaerts will find himself in the $200 million club as well.

Notable other players who could fall in this category include Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto, and Jacob deGrom.