Wander Franco
(Kim Klement, USA Today Sports)

Wander Franco Signs Contract Extension

According to MLB Insider Héctor Gómez, Rays Shortstop Wander Franco has signed a 12 year, $233 million contract extension. Gómez was first on the news:

Franco played 70 games last year for Tampa Bay. Across those 70 games, Wander went on a historic run, in which he reached base safely in 43 consecutive games. This tied Red’s Hall of Famer Frank Robinson’s record for players under 20. During the streak, Franco passed some impressive historic names, such as Mickey Mantle and Ken Griffey Jr.

Rays Solodify Their Future

It’s common knowledge now on how the Rays operate as a team. They don’t offer long-term, high-paying contracts typically, which brought a lot of uncertainly about how much they would offer Franco. However, Franco is unlike any prospect the Rays have had to pay before. The 20-year old lit up the MLB field last year during both the regular and post-season.

And if you’re the Rays, this was a move that absolutely had to happen. Franco is only 20. Assuming he plays his entire contract with Tampa, he’ll only be 32 by the time it’s up. Offering any contract like this to someone who only played 70 games is egregious, but Wander’s future is as bright as anyone’s in the league. And honestly, had Franco tested the market, he would’ve certainly gotten more money.

The Last Time Tampa Locked A Player Up

My first thought after this signing was “When was the last time Tampa re-signed a player to a large contract?” We’d have to go back to 2012 when Tampa gave Third Basemen Evan Longoria a 6-year extension for an additional $100 million after he signed an incredible team-friendly six-year, $17.5 million dollar contract.

Nevertheless, the Rays did what they needed to do, and for an absolute bargain. This contract shows shades of when the Braves locked up All-Star Ronald Acuna after only playing in 115 games.

Wander is here, and he’s going to terrorize the entire American League East Division for years to come.

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