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FILE – Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates after scoring on a Yandy Diaz single in the first inning of Game 1 of baseball’s American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox, Oct. 7 2021, St. Petersburg, Fla. Franco and the Rays have finalized an 11-year, $182 million deal that includes a club option for the 2033 season, the team announced Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo /Chris O’Meara, File_

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Wander Franco and the Tampa Bay Rays have finalized an 11-year, $182 million deal that includes a club option for the 2033 season.

The shortstop’s deal, which could be worth up to $223 million if the club’s option is exercised and incentives are met, was announced on Saturday.

“This is a great day for Wander and for the Rays, and it demonstrates the mutual trust between Wander and our organization,” Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement. “We are committed to fielding competitive teams year after year, and we all expect Wander’s presence and contributions to play an important role in maintaining our level of excellence.”

Tampa Bay won the AL East in 2021, but was eliminated by Boston in the ALDS.

The contract is the largest financial commitment to a player in the Rays’ 24-year history. It’s also the biggest contract in major league history for a player with less than a year of major league service.

Franco is the fifth player with less than a year of major league experience to sign a long-term extension with the team. The others are third baseman Evan Longoria (2008), left-hander Matt Moore (2011), right-hander Chris Archer (2014), and second baseman Brandon Lowe (2019).

“The pace at which Wander has grown is a testament to its potential,” Rays president of baseball operations Erik Neander said in a statement. “We’ve seen him do special things on the pitch, especially for a player who’s only 20 years old. He’s an exceptionally motivated budding superstar who can contribute to our success for a long time.

Franco made his major league debut on June 22 and hit a three-run homer. He hit .288 with 18 doubles, five triples, seven home runs and 39 RBIs in 70 games. He finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.

Franco rode a 43-game streak to tie Cincinnati’s Frank Robinson (1956) for the longest in major league history among players under 21. He went 7 for 19 (.368) with two home runs and four RBIs in four playoff games. .

Franco would have been eligible for free agency after the 2027 season. He receives a signing bonus of $5 million, with payouts of $2.5 million on Dec. 1 and June 1, 2022.

The annual salary breakdown is as follows: $1 million in 2022, $2 million in 2023 and 2024, $8 million in 2025, $15 million in 2026, $22 million in 2027, and $25 million in each of the last five seasons. The 2033 club’s option is $25 million, with a $2 million buyout.

Franco’s deal also includes salary escalators if he finishes in the top five while voting for AL MVP. If traded before April 2, 2029, Franco receives a $3 million assignment bonus. It drops to $2 million if distributed on or after April 2, 2029


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