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Rougned Odor, Rangers Agree to 6-Year Contract Extension

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor throws to first on a grounder by Minnesota Twins' Max Kepler during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 10, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. Kepler reached on a throwing error by Odor. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
Jim Cowsert/Associated Press

The Texas Rangers locked in one of their key youngsters for the foreseeable future, as they signed second baseman Rougned Odor to a six-year contract extension.   

The Rangers announced the deal Thursday after Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News first reported the two sides were close to a deal on March 25.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported negotiations were complete, with Odor set to earn $49.5 million over six years with an option for a seventh. Grant added Thursday that Odor's contract includes two horses for the second baseman as well as the money. 

Odor and the Rangers had been in contract negotiations for quite some time, but the 23-year-old Venezuelan initially turned down an offer worth $35 million over six years with two team-option years, according to Heyman.

In 2016, Odor had a .271 batting average, 33 home runs and 88 RBI, and it was easily his best season in the big leagues thus far. But he earned just over $500,000, per Spotrac.

Odor was due a significant raise in arbitration, but rather than go through that process, he and the Rangers came to terms on fairer compensation moving forward.

The 2011 amateur free-agent signee made his Major League Baseball debut at 20 years of age in 2014 and showed instant flashes with nine home runs and 48 RBI in just 386 at-bats.

He followed that up with a strong sophomore campaign, hitting .261 with 16 homers and 61 RBI despite getting sent down early in the season after a slow start.

Odor established himself as a fixture in Texas' lineup upon his return, and his new contract suggests that the organization views him as an important cog in the pursuit of a World Series championship in the coming years.

It once seemed unlikely Odor would assume the role of starting second baseman because of the presence of Jurickson Profar. While the latter has developed into a useful utility player, injuries in 2014 and 2015 allowed Odor to surpass him in the organizational pecking order.

Profar may still have a bright future with the Rangers as a starter at a different position, but every indication is that Odor is their second baseman of the present and future.

He has become one of the league's best second basemen at the plate, and if his progress continues in the coming years, the new deal could provide the Rangers with fantastic value.

        

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