The Barstool Sportsbook Has Arrived In MichiganLearn More

Rays Super Prospect Wander Franco: "In 4 Years I See Myself With $300MM On The Table"

I woke up this morning laughing my ass off at this tweet. Wander Franco could very well be a super star as soon as this season if Tampa feels like rushing him in what will be an abbreviated amount of games. Look at these statistics!

Absurd offensive output AND he plays a premier defensive position. There's a reason he's the consensus #1 overall prospect by just about every single outlet that covers MiLB.

But... he's not going to have $300MM on the table and for a few reasons. 

1. He's on the Rays. As Billy Beane would say, "there's rich teams and there are poor teams, then there's 50 feet of crap, and then there's the Tampa Bay Rays". 

In the last 5 seasons, the Rays have been 30th, 28th, 29th, 28th and 28th in team payroll. They just do not operate by paying out mega deals to superstars. 

Now do NOT let that be construed as me saying they're not a good organization. I'd argue they're a top 5 organization in baseball. The Rays have been consistently competitive for a long while now and win in spite of being arguably the poorest organization in the league. The way they scout, develop and maximize value out of players is incredible to watch. Both poor teams and rich teams alike should follow the standard the Rays have set, which is what the BoSox are trying to do with their hire of Chaim Bloom.

2. He likely won't be a free agent until after the 2026 season. That's dependent on a few factors, coronavirus and a 2020 shortened season being one of them, but why would Tampa say "here's a $300MM deal" after the 2023 season even if they could? Now there's a new CBA looming, but for all intents and purposes should MLB keep it's status quo, the Rays won't be on the hook for anything more than an arbitration raise in year 4 which admittedly could be pricey if he performs like people think he will.

...Just not $300MM pricey. Not in the same universe.

3. Let's Yoan Moncada as a contractual barometer. Yoan just signed a 5 year $70MM extension prior to year 3 of service time. Wander Franco will have to be putting up Mike Trout numbers to sniff even doubling that, again, because the Rays have all of the leverage and contractual control of him. 

Yes, deals like Moncada, Chris Sale, Luis Robert, and Eloy Jimenez look very team friendly at a glance, but they're not. They're the opposite. Teams don't have to pay pre-arb players shit, all things considered. There's not a team on earth, not the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs or any other "rich" team that would pay a player $300MM when the player is contractually owed something like ~1/5 of that through arbitration. 

Sure, they'll overpay a player to secure extra years of team control (like what happened with the players I mentioned above) but not by THAT much. More like $10-20MM spread out over a few years.

So no, Wander, you won't have $300MM on the table. Not until you're a free agent, or at least not unless you wanna take that money over like a 20 year deal.

And this was talking baseball when there's no baseball to talk about.