The Texas Rangers once again jumped ahead of the curve by agreeing to an extension with second baseman Rougned Odor.
Multiple sources, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported over the weekend that second baseman Rougned Odor and the Texas Rangers agreed to a contract extension. The deal is believed to be worth $49.5 million over six years. It’s a great deal for all parties involved.
Why the Rangers win
Odor came on pretty strong to start his career in 2014. Through his first 19 games, he batted .281 and by the time the season ended, he finished with a very respectable .259. While he never received any serious Rookie of the Year consideration, he showed an old school flair for the game and an ability to hit on the road with consistency.
He slipped a bit in 2015, but a brief stint back in the minors helped him get his groove back. He raised his average, his on-base percentage and his slugging percentage by the time the season ended.
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He’s resilient, he’s an everyday guy and he has some great power. In 2016, Odor set career highs in hits (164), home runs (33), runs batted in (88), batting average (.271) and slugging percentage (.502). He’s proven himself to be one of baseball’s best all-around players and among the tops at second base.
By giving Odor his new long-term deal, they’ve locked in one of baseball’s best young second baseman through 2022. This also puts Odor on the roster to open the new ballpark. Plus, rumor has it, they also included a team option for 2023, making it an even more team-friendly deal.
It saves them millions in 2018 when he would have become arbitration-eligible and in 2021 when he could have entered free agency outright. The Rangers locked Rougie in for an extra two and potentially three extra seasons on the cheap. But he isn’t exactly a loser in this deal, either.
Why Rougie wins
In professional sports, there are never any true guarantees. Life, injuries and sometimes just plain unexpected circumstances happen. Major League baseball history is littered with players that suddenly lost the “feel” for the game or just couldn’t perform at all.
While he won’t receive everything he could have through salary arbitration or through the open market, he has locked in some great money for the next six years. I mean, the guy will receive an average of $8.25 million each season for the next six and possibly seven years. That’s enough to set up him, his children and their children for life if he handles his money the right way. He also benefits greatly by how this looks with the fans.
Why the fans win
Texas Rangers fans absolutely adore Odor. While he has a great, compact swing, he really endeared himself to fans with his swing. But their love for him goes far beyond that fateful day last season against the Blue Jays.
As previously mentioned, he plays the game the right way. He’s all-or-nothing, leaves it all on the field and any other sports cliché you can think of. His blue collar work ethic makes him an excellent fit for this blue collar fan base.
And of course, there’s his attitude. As evidenced by his smack to Jose Bautista‘s ol’ kisser, he won’t back down from any challenge. If anyone attempts anything with the guy, they could soon regret it.
The Rangers get a premier second baseman. That second baseman is now well-compensated for his work with the team. The fans get to watch Odor play and wear the name of this great state across his chest as he plays with fervor. This deal gives the Rangers, Odor and the fans a win-win-win situation. Now, the onus is on Odor and the team to win-win-win.