Star outfielder Julio Rodríguez is finalizing a long-term deal with the Mariners, a source told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez on Friday. The deal, which includes player and team options, is expected to guarantee Rodríguez $210 million over 14 years and could exceed $400 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The club has not confirmed the deal.
Rodríguez hit 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 81 games, the least for a player to reach those points. When he hit the 20-20 plateau, Rodríguez became only the 12th rookie in history to do so, and he was the fastest player in AL history (107 games) to achieve this feat, surpassing Mike Trout (112 games). If he can make it 25-25, Rodríguez would join a list of rookies that includes only Trout (2012) and Chris Young (2007).
After a slow start to the season, Rodríguez broke loose in May and June, hitting .295 with 13 homeruns and 33 RBI’s in 57 games in the two months en route to being named American League Rookie of the Month twice. Those honors made Rodríguez the first Mariners rookie to win multiple Rookie of the Month Awards since Ichiro Suzuki won four times in 2001.
Rodríguez joined Ichiro on another list later in the summer when he became just the sixth rookie in franchise history to be selected to the All-Star Game and the first rookie position player since Ichiro during that historic 2001 season. Rodríguez joined. also with Alex Rodríguez and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. — two of the greatest baseball players of all time — as the only 21-year-olds in Mariners history to be selected.
Rodríguez’s most notable moment of many highlights this season was his performance in the 2022 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium, where he finished second to Juan Soto but scored a total of 81 home runs, including 32 in the opening round, a new first round record for a rookie. Rodríguez’s first round home runs reached a combined distance of 2.54 miles, by far the longest of any of the opening round competitors.
Rodríguez’s first round was the fourth best of all Home Run Derby rounds in history, trailing only Pete Alonso, Joc Pederson (39 in the second round in 2019) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (40 to beat Pederson on that same round). J-Rod later became the first batter in history to hit multiple rounds of 30 home runs in a single Derby.
“I didn’t see it coming until I got to Spring Training,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Rodríguez’s speed. “It was one of the first days that we as a team ran the bases, the early camp, and the way he flies around the base, like, ‘Oh my god, this is different.’ And you start to see him move in the outfield and his ability to close on balls.”
Shortly after the All-Star Game, Rodríguez missed two weeks with a right wrist injury suffered when he was hit by a pitch against the Astros, but he has since returned to help the Mariners in their quest to end a 20-year postseason. drought.
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