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Wander Franco agrees to extend contract with Tampa Bay Rays

Wander Franco was always young for his achievements and his conquests in baseball.

Add this one to the list: massive contract extension.

The Tampa Bay Rays and the 20-year-old shortstop signed an 11-year contract worth $ 182 million, with an option for a 12th year for a total of $ 223 million, according to Bob Nightengale by USA TODAY Sports.

Previously, the biggest contract in Rays history was the six-year, $ 100 million extension to Evan Longoria in 2012. It’s also the biggest contract for a player with less than a full year of service. . Ronald Acuna Jr. signed an eight-year, $ 100 million contract with the Braves in 2019.

The Dominican Republic native made his debut in June as the sport’s top prospect and lived up to the hype, finishing third in the American League Rookie of the Year vote despite just 70 games.

He hit .288 with seven homers and 39 RBIs, but grabbed the headlines for a 43-game base streak.

Tampa Bay signed the shortstop for $ 3.825 million on July 2, 2017, the earliest a team could ink Franco, then 16. He was the rookie Appalachian League MVP after beating .351 with 11 home runs and 57 RBIs just over a year later.

Franco continued to shine in 2019, hitting 0.327 / .398 / .487 (batting average / basic percent / hitting percent) between Class A and Advanced Class A levels. With the cancellation of the minor league season in 2020, Franco has spent time at the Rays alternative training site alongside future big league teammates. He posted a .954 based percentage plus hitting percentage to start the 2021 season with Class AAA Durham before the Rays called him.

And on Tuesday, the Rays and Franco decided they were ready for more than a decade together.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

Wander Franco agrees to extend contract with Tampa Bay Rays

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