The Texas Rangers recently signed Matt Harrison to a five-year extension, worth $55 million, keeping the All Star left hander in Arlington through 2018. The first two years of the contract, which buy out his remaining years of arbitration, will net Harrison $13 million combined. While the final three years of the contract will earn him $13 million a season.
Harrison, 27, led the team in wins last season at 18. He has proved he can stay healthy and consistent which has plagued many of his teammates in the rotation. Over the last two seasons he has pitched nearly 400 innings, setting a career high in 2012 with 213 1/3 innings, with a 3.34 ERA.
The Rangers now have a core rotation with ages of 27 (Harrison), 29 (Ogando), 26 (Darvish), 26 (Holland). Three of which are signed through 2016.
Last offseason the Rangers won the bidding rights for 25-year-old right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish who they then signed for 6 years. Then right before the start of last season they agreed to a five-year contract extension with left hander Derek Holland who was slated to become a free agent after the 2015 season.
The Rangers have had an extremely hard time of bringing in free agent pitchers in the past and locking up their younger pitchers has been of extreme importance in recent years. So having Darvish, Harrison, and Holland locked up through what should be the prime of their careers should lead to rotation stability for the next few seasons.
I’m not saying that all or any of these guys will be in the rotation in 2016 but having that much stability is something this franchise has been desperately missing for many years. Knowing what their rotation has for the next few seasons affords this team much more flexibility than it has previously had.
A lot of players on this team are the same guys who came within one strike, TWICE, of winning the World Series. So locking up as many of these young players should be the franchises first priority. Next that needs to be signed is Elvis Andrus.