Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though. We’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
* * *
The Texas Rangers have long been rumored to be pursuing extension talks with Rougned Odor, and as of yesterday, they've finally hammered out the terms. The second baseman is now under team control through at least 2022, with a six-year deal for $49.5 million and a team option for a season beyond that. On its face, that might sound like more of an extended commitment than it actually is — Odor just wrapped up his third major league season, meaning that the homegrown player wasn't yet eligible for arbitration and would have already been under the Rangers' control through the 2020 season.
Extending him for two years past his current situation isn't quite as striking of a commitment as a six-year deal may sound, but it's a clear commitment and a big payday for Odor regardless. The 23-year-old has made demonstrable progress in each of his three major league seasons, with an appreciable bump in his OPS each year and his home runs nearly doubling from season to season before hitting 33 last year. (For another testimonial about his power, albeit in a different form, you can always turn to Jose Bautista.)
So in the short term, the extension appears to be a win for both sides. But these sorts of deals almost always do at the outset — it's only what happens down the line that shows if it's really a steal or an anchor.
Meanwhile, Odor isn't the only player that the Rangers have been trying to lock down. Extension talks with Jonathan Lucroy were reportedly tabled this week, less than a year after the team traded for the catcher. And they're reportedly still talking to outfielder Nomar Mazara, which is an even more forward-thinking move than the Odor extension — Mazara is just 22 years old and made his major league debut last year when he was called up early due to big league injuries. While he still has plenty of room to grow, the erstwhile top prospect has a high ceiling, and the Rangers seem clearly interested in making moves to keep their young talent in town for as long as possible.
- The San Francisco Giants have been continual contenders for nearly a decade now, with three championships in the past seven years. But how long can that last? Anthony Rescan of Beyond the Box Score tries to figure it out.
- Carlos Rodon will be shut down for the beginning of the season with biceps tightness, and his potential replacements aren’t too inspiring.
- A fun look at an oddity from New York Yankees history — the time they scored five runs on just two hits.
- Ethan Novak of Lookout Landing has a thorough look at how general manager Jerry Dipoto has started to overhaul the Seattle Mariners farm system.
- Zack Wheeler was one of the biggest prospect names at the beginning of the New York Mets rebuild, but now it’s been nearly two years since he’s pitched. Amazin’ Avenue looks at what his recovery might mean for the team.
- After being forced to keep their international free-agent spending to a minimum over the past few years, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are getting ready to spend again.
- Though Shawn Kelley was previously thought to be the Nationals’ leading candidate for the closer spot, it looks as if Koda Glover is set to take it from him.
- Young fans may know John Kruk only for his work in the broadcast booth, but here's a reminder of how good of a player he was.
- Ryan Zimmerman added a run in the Washington Nationals' win over the Houston Astros by scrambling and somehow managing to avoid this tag from Brian McCann at home plate.