The Rangers signed Starting pitcher Scott Feldman to two year extension with an option for a third year today. Feldman and the Rangers had already come to terms for the 2010 season at a salary of 2.425 million. The deal will pay him 4.4 million in 2011 and 6.5 million in 2012. There is also a club option for 2013 that would be for 9.25 million if the club picks it up or a $600,000 buyout.
The Rangers here lately have not given much security to any players. Feldman only makes the fourth player on the current roster which has a contract for next year. The others being Ian Kinsler, Colby Lewis (who signed a 2 year deal earlier this off season) and hopefully a lifetime Ranger in Michael Young. With the economic condition of the team the last two seasons and the eventual pending ownership the Rangers have no been able to give out any Arod or Kevin Millwood type contracts.
Most teams, especially with the economy being down are realizing that if they have young proven talent they need to lock them through their arbitration years and even maybe a year or two into free agency. The reason for this is that arbitration can be very tricky and can affect a roster quite significantly.
A player can ask for example 13 million and the team offers 8 million. The team has two options try to settle somewhere in the middle or go to an arbitration hearing where they could either win or lose. So if a team loses and owes a player $13 million when their payrol is around 70 million total, the five million more than what the team offered is quite a chunk.
So teams like the Philies in the case of Ryan Howard and the Giants earlier this off season in the case of Tim Lincecum have opted to sign these players over multiple years so that they can avoid these arbitration hearings. Also they can plan their payrolls more effectively by having an exact figure rather than a arbitrary figure. Arbitration hearings for great upcoming players such as Howard or Lincecum can be very distracting to the team’s focus.
Arbitration hearings can also have negative effects on players because, any other day of the year the team is backing a player %100. Although once that hearing starts the teams job is to prove why a player shouldn’t make more money, so they are %100 against a player pulling anything they have to prove their case. After losing an arbitration hearing with the Tampa Bay Rays Dioner Navarro seemed to be possibly affected by the hearing throughout the entire 2009 season eventually having a down year. By avoiding this with Feldman, he can focus on wins and not have to worry about what he is getting paid and if he truly deserves it.
Last week the Rangers named Feldman to be the opening day starter. Then by giving him this contract today the Ranger’s affirmed that he is Kevin Millwoods replacement at the top of the rotation. After winning 17 games last year, Feldman had already passed up Millwood at the top of the rotation. So essentially the Rangers are finally looking towards the future rather than just filling the current seasons roster.