The Texas Rangers entered the 2015 season with few supporters. They had lost their ace pitcher for the year and looked to be in line to have a similar dismal season like last year. That proved to not be the case as the Rangers overcame a slow start and caught fire midway through the season and ended up claiming the AL West division and a postseason berth.
A couple of midseason trades and unexpected contributions from some younger players ended up making the difference. One unlikely contributor came in the form of Rougned Odor. After a very nice bounce-back season from a dreadful 2014 season, the Rangers are expected to sit down with Odor and discuss a long-term deal with the young second baseman as reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.
The youngster got off to a slow start in the 2015 season and ended up being sent down to the minors to straighten some things out, as he showed early signs of struggle. Once he came back up, he quickly caught fire and ended the season with a solid .261/.316/.463 slash line while clubbing 16 home runs and 61 RBIs. It was overall a much more productive season than the previous season. It helped that the rest of the team was finally healthy but his contributions to the Rangers were key down the stretch as they ascended back to the top of the AL West.
Odor will turn 22 in February 2016 and is under club control through 2021. He will not enter arbitration until 2018. He is years away from being able to increase his paycheck but the Rangers are obviously interested in buying out the rest of his arbitration years and possibly some free agency years now for cost certainty.
They see him only getting better from here on out and want to lock him up now before he starts getting any more expensive. Locking him up now would solidify second base for the Rangers as there was a bit of a hole left there once the Rangers traded longtime Ranger Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers for veteran slugger Prince Fielder. Look for the Rangers to open up extension talks with Odor after the end of the World Series.