M’s, Julio Rodriguez Ink Long-Term Deal Ahead of Crucial Few Games

After taking game one against the Cleveland Guardians yesterday afternoon, the Seattle Mariners and Rookie-Phenom Julio Rodriguez agreed to a huge long-term contract that could max out at $470 million.

The 21-year-old outfielder will be making $210 million confirmed. This paycheck is just a tad better than what he was signed for as a 17-year-old kid, which was $1.75 million. Julio Rodriguez is having a huge impact, not only on his team, but his city as well.

Seattle, you have got your guy, and for quite some time. On Wednesday, J-Rod became the first Seattle Mariner since 2002 to hit 20 home runs and swipe 20 bags, and it is still August…

Julio and the M’s have made it clear that he is the “face of the city”, and it will stay that way for an extended period of time. The AL Rookie-of-the-year front runner is slashing .269/.328/.471 with 20 bombs and 23 stolen bases.

Now onto yesterday’s series-opening, 3-1 win over Cleveland.

All of the offense happened in both halves of the first inning, where Cleveland jumped out to a one-run lead, on a fielder’s choice by All-Star Jose Ramirez. He gave Seattle’s Ty France a gnarly blow to the leg when crossing first, where he was removed from the game after also being clipped on the foot on another play later on in the game.

Seattle responded in a big way in the first off of Cleveland’s Triston McKenzie, who struck out 14 in his last start. Julio walked, Jesse Winker followed with a base-hit up the gut and Mitch Haniger donated the ball to the bullpen on a three-run blast.

Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners

Seattle's Jesse Winker and Mitch Haniger celebrate with a hand shake after Haniger crushed a three-run home run yesterday afternoon. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

It was a huge comeback start for Marco Gonzales. He went six innings, allowing only one earned run. The bullpen, or should I say “Los Bomberos”, came in after Marco and did what they typically do best, and shove. Erik Swanson, Matt Brash and Andres Munoz finished off Cleveland in game one, where Munoz punched out three Guardians over 1 1/3 innings.

Ty France is out of the lineup tonight, but Manager Scott Servais and France are optimistic about not having to go on the injured list. On the other hand, Sam Haggerty has made his return to the starting lineup after dealing with a sore shoulder. He is batting in the 9-hole, playing right field.

Tonight is the first night of Ichiro HOF Weekend. It will be a packed house this series, and the M’s need to win to keep pace as a current wild card spot holder. It’ll be Logan Gilbert for the Mariners facing off against 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner, Shane Bieber for the Guardians.

Here is a look at the updated AL Wild Card Standings as of Friday evening:

  1. Toronto Blue Jays (69-55), +1.5 GB
  2. Tampa Bay Rays (68-55), +1.0 GB
  3. Seattle Mariners (68-57), -- GB
  • Baltimore Orioles (65-59), 2.5 GB
  • Minnesota Twins (62-61), 5.0 GB
  • Chicago White Sox (63-62), 5.0 GB

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