Talks have been stalled since last July, but there’s some optimism an extension can get done by Opening Day.
Rougned Odor and the Texas Rangers have opened up contract extension dialogue once again according to a report from Jon Heyman. Talks have been stalled since mid-July when Odor rejected the Rangers’ initial offers at an extension.
According to Heyman though, there seems to be some optimism from both camps this time around that a deal will get done:
“The Rangers are believed to have offered something in the range of the $52.5-million, six-year deal Jason Kipnis did as a pre-arb player with the Indians, and the discussion seems to be centered around a comparison of those two players. Odor is quite a bit younger at 23 and has slightly more service time, but Kipnis had made an All-Star team and gotten MVP votes by the time he signed his deal with Cleveland, which included a seventh-year player option and bought out at least two free-agent years.”
Originally, it appeared that Odor’s contract value would be compared to Gregory Polanco’s—also a client of Beverly Hills Sports Council. However, Polanco only signed his team-friendly five-year, $35 million extension because he was insistent on staying with the Pirates. When Odor was offered a comparable figure, it was rejected and talks hadn’t progressed since then.
Now that there seems to be some movement from the Rangers’ side, a deal might get done after all. The 23-year-old second baseman is currently under team control through the 2020 season, so there is no particular urgency to get a deal done. However, Odor has only one pre-arbitration season remaining, and buying out arbitration years with contract extensions seems to be the way many front offices are heading. It may gain even more popularity given the way the recent Dellin Betances arbitration hearings went.
Odor is young and manning what is currently a premium position in the major leagues, both of which definitely help his case. Over the past three seasons, Odor has accrued nearly five wins above replacement and has been worth nearly $40 million by FanGraphs’ dollar-per-WAR estimations.
With his strikeout rate extremely high and his walk rate extremely low—two things that typically indicate a poor aging curve—Odor’s on-base percentage dropping is a worrying sign. However, 33 home runs and a .231 ISO helped make him one of the best slugging second basemen in all of baseball last season. In fact, only Brian Dozier, Daniel Murphy, Robinson Cano, and Matt Carpenter topped Odor’s ISO.