Wander Franco and Rays are satisfied with $ 182 million contract

T. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Wander Franco and the Tampa Bay Rays got what they wanted in the shortstop’s $ 182 million, 11-year contract that includes a club option for the 2033 season.

Franco, 20, gained financial security for his family and Tampa Bay locked up a long-term homegrown budding star.

The Rays introduced Franco on Monday, two days after he signed the deal that could be worth up to $ 223 million if the club’s option is exercised and the incentives are reached.

“I can help my family and be happy with this opportunity,” Franco said through an interpreter.

Tampa Bay won the American League East in 2021 but was eliminated by Boston in the American League Division Series (ALDS). The low-budget Rays made it to the World Series in 2008 and 2020, but lost both times.

“All I want to do is win a championship,” Franco said.

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

“We have someone that we know we can trust, and who will be there for his teammates, and will be there to improve,” said Tampa Bay chief owner Stu Sternberg.

Franco put together a 43-game hitting streak to tie Cincinnati’s Frank Robinson (1956) for the most in major league history among players under 21. He batted 19-7 (.368) with two home runs and four RBIs in four postseason games.

“He is an incredibly skilled player, incredibly motivated and I think he’s only scratching the surface in terms of the impact he’s likely to have on this club in the years to come,” said President of Baseball Operations Erik Neander. “The sky’s the limit. The skills, it’s all there. It prepares you for what could be a historic race.”

Franco receives a $ 5 million signing bonus, with payments of $ 2.5 million on December 1 and June 1. The 2033 club option is for $ 25 million, with an exit purchase of $ 2 million. The deal also includes pay scales if he finishes in the top five in the AL MVP voting.