Tampa Bay Rays: The Biggest Contracts the Past 12 Years
By Joseph Koetters
Wander Franco 11yr/$182M (2021)
To no surprise of anyone, the biggest contract in Rays history belongs to shortstop Wander Franco. The young 20 year old burst on to the big league scene in 2021 in a big way. In 70 games Franco slashed .288/.347/.463 and finished 3rd in AL Rookie of the Year voting with fellow teammates Randy Arozarena finishing 1st and Shane McClanahan finishing 7th. The rookie looks to lock down the shortstop position for the foreseeable future and will be paid life changing money.
Although it is the biggest contract in Rays history, the Rays seem to be making out like bandits in this deal. The deal is structured in an extremely team friendly manner. Franco is set to make less than $10 million a year for the next 4 years, and at the highest point of the salary, Franco is set to make $25 million for the last 5 years. If Franco is not the player that the Rays expect him to be (or even if he is) the Rays should have no problem trading him to another team for the discounted money that he will be receiving. However, if the Rays do decide to keep him and he turns out to be the superstar his projections say he will be, the Rays have a top 5 SS in baseball locked up for well below AAV of other star short stops on the market today.