What a Rougned Odor Extension Might Look Like

Per Jon Heyman, this winter the Rangers have tried to sign 2B Rougned Odor to a long-term extension, but there is a "decent-sized gap." 

Due to his lack of service time, Roogie won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season, and won't be arbitration-eligible until after 2017. So the level of urgency to getting him locked up for 2021 and beyond isn't pressing.

Not unless, of course, the Rangers feel like Odor is primed for a breakout in 2016... in which case his price could only go up from the point it's at now -- which is already more than the Rangers are comfortable spending.

Like everywhere else has mentioned, Roogie had a rough start to his 2015 campaign. Through May 8th, he slashed a gaunt .144/.252/.233 (33 wRC+) with just five extra-base hits in 103 plate appearances. And it's entirely possible that stretch will go down as the worst 100 PA sample size of his career. 

So, yeah, the Rangers sent him to Triple-A for a month, and you know where the story goes from there. 

By the time Odor returned he was one of the toughest outs in the major league lineup: From June 17th through the end of the regular season, Odor batted .285/.329/.523 (123 wRC+) with 14 HRs, 7 3Bs and 15 2Bs, and pretty much cemented his case to be the Rangers second baseman for the next decade.

Rougned Odor turned 22 just a month ago. And like I mentioned earlier, he still has five years before he is eligible to declare free agency. 

So what kind of extension might he be seeking?

To answer, we travel all the way back to the winter of 2013 to peek at the way Martin Perez's contract was structured, as he was at the same point in his service time when the Rangers signed him to an extension:

2014: $750K (in what would have been his 2nd pre-arb year)

2015: $1 million (in what would would have been his 3rd pre-arb year)

2016: $2.9 million 

2017: $4.4 million 

2018: $6 million team option, $2.45 million buyout

2019: $7.5 million team option, $750K buyout

2020: $9 million team option, $250K buyout

This might just look like a bunch of numbers on your computer screen, so here's the point: By extending Perez at the time they did, the Rangers bought out his last two pre-arb years for $1.75 million, his three arbitration seasons for $13.3 million, and his first two free agency years for $18 million.

Including all options being picked up, Texas signed the 22 year-old to a 7-year, $33 million contract. It gave the pitcher immediate financial security and the Rangers a #3-type starter on the super cheap for the better part of the next decade. 

This is what the franchise is set out to accomplish with Roogie as well, only he plays a position significantly less volatile than a starter pitcher. And it's because Odor is safer to project that he will cost more. The less the gamble, the greater the investment. 

Rougned Odor's agent knows this, which is why the two sides have yet to come to an agreement. The danger in waiting, from the Rangers perspective, is that Odor is one big year away from moving to the tier of elite second baseman in baseball, where his next contract could be worth two or three times what he's looking at right now. ESPN's Keith Law (Insider required) picks Odor as one of his five breakout candidates in 2016... and if it wasn't him then it probably would have been you, or me. After seeing Roogie break out in the second half of 2015 I'm under the impression that's just what we're going to expect out of him moving forward. And that's probably the least homerific thing you'll see me write this calendar year.

So here's my hypothetical extension: 

2016: $1.5 million

2017: $2.5 million

2018: $4 million

2019: $6 million

2020: $8 million

2021: $10 million (team option, $3 million buyout)

2022: $11 million (team option, $1.5 million buyout)

All told, the total value of the contract with no buyouts is eight years and $56 million, which comes out to a grand total of $7 million Average Annual Value. I know that reads like a low figure, but it buys out Odor's two pre-arb years for $4 million, his three arb years for $18 million, and his first three years of free agency for $36 million. Like most other long-term contracts given to low service time guys, it guarantees more money to the player in the short-term to save money for the team in the long-term. 

There is still a lot of time before Rougned Odor is going to be a free agent. This isn't a now or never situation. But unless a deal gets hammered out in the next couple months, there's a large risk that Roogie is talented enough to make 8/56 look like a bargain.