The Philadelphia Phillies have extended outfielder Odubel Herrera, they announced on Thursday.
The Phillies and Herrera reached a five-year contract with team options for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, per the announcement. According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Herrera will make a guaranteed $30.5 million over the course of the deal.
And, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Herrera's team options will be worth $11.5 and $12.5 million, respectviely.
Over the course of the offseason, there was some speculation as to whether the Phillies might actually be open to trading Herrera, who broke out as a solid starter in center field over the past two seasons. Obviously, this extension quiets all potential talk.
A Rule 5 draft pick just two seasons ago, Herrera quickly became a productive player in Philadelphia, with a 4.0 fWAR rookie season. Hitting at a high batting average, with the ability to steal bases relatively easily, Herrera was one of the bright spots on a 2015 Phillies team that lost 99 games.
Last season, the soon-to-be 25-year-old Herrera's production right out of the gate was fantastic. He posted a 118 wRC+ in the first half of last season, and he was named as the Phillies' lone representative to the All-Star Game.
Herrera struggled to maintain his production through the summer, but he did close out the season with a .815 OPS over his last 30 games. In all, he finished with a .286/.361/.420 slash line (110 wRC+) with 15 home runs, 49 RBI and 25 stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 3.8 Wins Above Replacement.
Extending Herrera could end up working out for both sides.
For the Phillies, a just over $6 million per season commitment to Herrera could very well pay off in terms of production. He certainly has played like a worthy player, and it is possible he is only getting better, illustrated in the fact that, from 2015 to 2016, he cut his stikeout rate by almost four percent and almost doubled his walk rate.
And, if it does not work out, a signing of this size should not limit them by any means. Philadelphia has plenty of payroll flexibility for years to come, and an approximate $6 million commitment should not hinder them from being able to pusure options even if Herrera's production falls off the table.
As for Herrera, this extension will provide him with a guarnateed amount of money and security over the length of the deal. While it is possible he could have earned more on the open market, the Phillies, in theory, only bought out one free agent year with the potential to make it three. At the worst, he will be a free agent going into his age-32 season.