The Rangers have been in talks with outfielder Nomar Mazara about a contract extension, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link), though there aren’t any signs that the two sides are close to a deal. Mazara is represented by ISE Baseball, an agency that has negotiated early-career extensions for such notable players as Madison Bumgarner, Andrelton Simmons, Chris Archer, Paul Goldschmidt, Yordano Ventura, and Julio Teheran in recent years.
Mazara has just one year of MLB service time under his belt, debuting last April to replace the injured Shin-Soo Choo and sticking with the Rangers throughout the season. Mazara got off to a big start over his first two months in the bigs before cooling off the rest of the way, though his 20 homers and .266/.320/.419 slash line in 568 PA was particularly impressive given that he was the youngest player in baseball (Mazara turns 22 next month).
Mazara already has one big payday to his name, having signed a $4.95MM bonus as an international free agent with Texas when he was just 16 years old. Rangers GM Jon Daniels has generally been aggressive in locking up young players he believes will be cornerstone pieces for his team, with Rougned Odor reportedly very close to joining that list.
Martin Perez (who had a year and 38 days of service time at the time of his extension) is the only Rangers player extended quite as early in his career as Mazara would be if he indeed put pen to paper before Opening Day. Perez’s deal guaranteed him $12.5MM over four years with another $20.05MM available if Texas exercises all three club option years. It’s safe to assume that a Mazara extension would have a roughly similar framework, though likely for more money since Perez’s deal came over three years ago. Gaining cost certainty on Mazara now would also help Texas avoid a potentially larger payout to the outfielder through his arbitration years if he gained Super Two eligibility.