SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers continue to use Spring Training as a time to discuss contract extensions with key players.Yu Darvish and Jonathan Lucroy may be the two most important since they are eligible for free agency. But second baseman Rougned Odor is also on their list, even though he
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers continue to use Spring Training as a time to discuss contract extensions with key players.
Yu Darvish and Jonathan Lucroy may be the two most important since they are eligible for free agency. But second baseman Rougned Odor is also on their list, even though he won't be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. He may be the latest in a line of Rangers players who received a contract extension either in Spring Training or early in the season.
• Spring:Tickets | Ballpark | 40-man roster | NRIs
"The lines of communication are open with all our guys," general manager Jon Daniels said. "I'm not handicapping anything or giving daily updates. We want to keep it quiet and behind closed doors."
Odor, 23, is coming off a terrific 2016 season when he hit .271 with 33 home runs, 88 RBIs and a .502 slugging percentage. He isn't yet eligible for arbitration and has reached an agreement on a one-year, $563,180 contract for 2017, the Rangers announced Thursday.
That doesn't preclude more discussions about a multiyear deal, although Odor feigned surprise his agents were talking to the Rangers.
"I don't know anything," Odor said. "My dad just called me. I said, 'I don't know anything, but thank you for calling.'"
By doing a multiyear deal now, the Rangers would future arbitration hearings with Odor and possibly buy out at least one or two years of free agency. The two sides discussed the possibility last summer, but they couldn't get anything done
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported that the framework of a deal could be comparable to the one given to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who agreed to a six-year, $52.6 million contract at the beginning of the 2014 season. At the time, Kipnis had two-plus years of Major League experience. The Indians bought out two years of free agency, plus they added a club option for 2020. The Rangers seem to get a least one contract extension done per Spring Training. Past recipients include Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Derek Holland and Martin Perez.
The end of Spring Training doesn't present a deadline. The Rangers have shown in the past they are open and willing to continue discussions during the season.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.