How Mariners Julio Rodriguez contract set the stage for Bobby Witt Jr. and Royals

The Mariners changed the world of contracts when they extended Julio Rodriguez. Now, the Royals have taken a page out of their book in extending Bobby Witt Jr.

2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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Bobby Witt Jr.

11YR/288.7M is the headliner of this one. There is an added 3YR/$89M club option at the end of the deal, pushing it to a potential 14YR/$377M ceiling. It starts slow, but still agressive, through his arb years, and will really jump in 2028 when it hits $30M. The next six years are all at $35M, although the stretch from 2031-2034 are all $35M player options, which is a really interesting stipulation in his contract.

That player option angle gives him a chance to re-negotiate, or even leave, if the baseball contract landscape has changed by the end of the decade. Reports currently have Witt as rumored to want to spend his career in KC (hence the contract) and you would have to hope that remains the case throughout the duration of the deal.

He has also been given a no-trade clause with a signing bonus of $7,777,777, done so because of his number itself being #7, making for a fun wrinkle and detail in the deal. 2024 is going to be his age-24 season, meaning that his outs would essentially be heading into his age-31 season, his age-35 season, and the contract would end after his age-37 season, a very reasonable age to see a player retire, or come back on a one-year retirement trip season.