Fresh off somewhat of a breakout season for the Texas Rangers, Rougned Odor is about to become a very wealthy man… and still be underpaid.

According to reports from Jon Heyman, Evan Grant and Bob Nightengale, the Rangers and Odor agreed Saturday to a six-year $49.5 million extension, with a team option for a seventh year.

Odor’s extension fits the common template of a young player signing a below-market deal that buys out his arbitration years and the beginning of his free agency. In such agreements, the team gets a good deal on a 20-something star and the player gets immediate financial security.

Obviously if Odor were a free agent he would command a contract worth much more than $8.25 million a year. Only 23 years old, the second baseman has a .791 OPS over the past two years and is already one of the top power-hitting middle infielders in the game. He doesn’t draw many walks, and his defense is suspect, but he’s already one of the 100 best position players in the game, and he’s got plenty of potential to improve.

But Odor is still a year away from arbitration and cannot become a free agent until 2021, meaning if not for this extension he would’ve earned less that $600,000 for the upcoming season. Therefore, this new deal represents something like a 1,400 percent raise for Odor.

Still, Odor is probably leaving money on the table with this extension. Assuming he maintained or improved upon his 2016 production, he would have been in line for some nice salary boosts over three years of arbitration, then a big payday when he became a free agent in 2021 at age 27. Now he won’t hit the market until age 29 or 30, which will likely limit his ability to cash in. Instead of making a little money now and a lot later, he’ll make a moderate amount for the next six or seven years.

Odor opted for security over maximum salary, a perfectly reasonable choice within the current collective bargaining agreement. As a result, the Rangers have one of their best players locked up through his entire prime, at a bargain cost.

 

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.