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The Seattle Mariners are locking up their young star, finalizing a long-term extension with rookie Julio Rodriguez on Friday.
The deal, which has not been confirmed by the Mariners organization, will guarantee Rodriguez $210 million over 14 years and could exceed $400 million by the end of the pact, according to ESPN.
In his rookie season, Rodriguez is having a breakout year, hitting .269/.328/.471, with 20 home runs, 64 RBI and 23 stolen bases. He is the first Mariners rookie to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in a single season, and he was selected to his first All-Star Game.
“I didn’t see it coming until I got to spring training,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Rodríguez’s speed, according to MLB.com. “It was one of the first days we ran the bases as a team, early camp, and the way he’s flying around the base like, ‘Oh, my God, this is different.’ And you start seeing him move in the outfield, and his ability to close on balls.”
Rodríguez is the favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year award and was runner-up to Juan Soto at the 2022 Home Run Derby in July.
Seattle, which is attempting to break a 20-year playoff drought, currently holds a 2.5-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles for the final Wild Card spot.
At the trade deadline, Seattle made their move, acquiring pitcher Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds. Castillo was widely viewed as the top pitcher on the trade market and has a 3.16 ERA in four starts for the Mariners.
“He’s one of the best pitchers in the game,” Servais said after the trade, according to MLB.com. “Really established himself as a dominant starter in the National League. We’ve got a couple of his former teammates with us. They know him very well and they speak very highly of his stuff, his competitiveness.”
Seattle plays the second game of a four-game series against the Cleveland Guardians on Friday night.