FEBRUARY 27: Odor’s reps met today with Rangers GM Jon Daniels, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). There’s still no word as to how discussions are progressing, but clearly they are ongoing at this point.
FEBRUARY 23, 4:15pm: Whatever talks have taken place to this point don’t appear to advance to the point where Odor himself has been presented with an offer or a concept, as the infielder himself tells MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan (Twitter link) that he “[doesn’t] know anything.”
8:40am: The Rangers and the reps for second baseman Rougned Odor have undertaken renewed efforts to reach agreement on a long-term deal, according to a report from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. It’s not clear just how likely it is that the sides will see eye to eye, but Heyman says there’s “at least a bit of hope.”
Last we checked in, early last fall, the sides had stalled out in talks over the size of the guarantee and number of option years that the club would pick up. Now, Odor stands one season away from reaching arbitration eligibility, perhaps adding impetus to the club’s effort.
Indeed, Texas appears to be making a significant push to get something done. The club is “believed to have offered something in the range of” the extension reached between Jason Kipnis and the Indians at the outset of the 2014 season. That six-year deal promised Kipnis $52.5MM and came with a single club option. At the time, the Cleveland second baseman was also a 2+ service class player who had not reached Super Two eligibility, putting him in the same position as Odor. (Interestingly, as Heyman notes, both are also represented by the large Beverly Hills Sports Council agency.)
Of course, that deal is now a few years old. And one could argue that Odor ought to earn more, based largely upon his age. Kipnis was entering his age-27 season at the time of his deal, while Odor only just turned 23. On the other hand, Kipnis was coming off of a monster season — his second straight as a 3+ WAR regular — while Odor has a somewhat less-established track record. While he drove 33 long balls last year, Odor also failed even to crack the .300 OBP barrier and drew poor metrics for his glovework.
It’s an interesting standoff, all things considered. Odor’s early lock on a regular job and sizable home run tallies give him significant arbitration earning power, while his young age holds the promise of free-agent riches to come. Those factors surely have driven the price northward on a deal, despite the fact that Odor has yet to put up a complete season approaching the All-Star campaign of Kipnis in 2013. That the Rangers are still pushing to get something done indicates that the team feels there’s still growth left in his game, though undoubtedly there are limits to what the team will spend.