Wander Franco is one of Major League Baseball’s best young products. Boardroom looks at his historic deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Tampa Bay Rays have long been a factory designed to churn out elite young talent. Starting with a string of losing seasons to begin their history as a franchise, their farm system continuously houses top prospects throughout the minors. Of course, the Rays are also excellent at scouting and development, so that has allowed the team to let those players move on after a few years in the Majors in order to make room for the next crop of phenoms.
Shortstop Wander Franco is one of Tampa’s best prospects ever. The switch hitter was the No. 1 prospect in the MLB before his initial call-up in 2021. He became a mainstay on the big league club a year later, and the team wasted no time locking him up to a major deal. Franco and the Rays agreed to an 11-year, $182 million extension in 2021 with a club option for the 2033 season. Signing someone so young to such a long deal is uncommon, but it provides Franco with a decade of job security and the franchise with some team-friendly salary numbers. Boardroom takes a look at the Wander Franco contract details below.
Wander Franco Contract Details & Salary
Years: 11 (pre-arbitration extension)
Total value: $182,000,000
Average annual value: $16,545,455
Signing bonus: $5,000,000
Free agency: 2033 (club option after 2032)
NOTE: the 2033 club option comes with a $2,000,000 buyout
2022 salary: $6,000,000
Upcoming annual salary numbers:
2033: $25,000,000 (club option)
As outlined, Franco’s contract is heavily backloaded. With it being fully guaranteed, that simply means the bulk of his money will come to him in the latter half of the deal. Franco’s contract is also historic for two reasons. First, it’s the richest contract in Rays history and secondly, it’s the richest contract for a player that had less that one year of MLB experience at the time of signing. He also has a couple bonuses, such as a $3 million escalator for every MVP-winning season he has. At just 22, there is plenty of time for Franco to grow into a superstar-caliber player and the Rays made sure to have him under contract while that happens.
Wander Franco Career Earnings
MLB SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2023: $12,140,901
TOTAL SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2033 SEASON (club option picked up): $186,140,901
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