Phillies sign Odubel Herrera to five-year extension

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By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor  

The Philadelphia Phillies locked up one of their key young players on Thursday afternoon, signing outfielder Odubel Herrera to a five-year contract extension through 2021 with club options for 2022 and 2023.

According to Jim Salisbury, the deal is worth a guaranteed $30.5 million and the club options are at $11.5 million for 2022 and $12.5 million for 2023. 

Herrera, 24, was signed by the Texas Rangers as an amateur free agent in 2008 and the Phillies selected him in the 2014 Rule-5 draft after he won the Double-A Texas League batting title with a .321 average and hit .372 in Venezuelan Winter League action. Once his rookie season began, it became clear that Herrera would be a promising young piece for a rebuilding Phillies team. He slashed .297/.344/.418 in 147 games as the primary center fielder in 2015.

Odubel followed it up with a solid 2016 campaign , slashing .286/.361/.420 with increases in nearly every category while displaying better plate discipline and extra-base power. Herrera hit 21 doubles, six triples and 15 home runs to go along with 49 RBIs, 87 runs scored and 25 steals. His play in the first half earned him a spot on the National League All-Star team.

During the winter meetings earlier in December, Phillies skipper Pete Mackanin echoed Matt Klentak's praise for Herrera in center field, where they plan to keep him moving forward. There had been thought that the Phillies were open to trading Herrera during the meetings, but this deal indicates that they are committed to him in center for the coming years.

Heading into 2017, Herrera and Howie Kendrick are the locks for outfield spots, leaving Aaron Altherr, Roman Quinn and Daniel Nava to battle it out for the starting right field job, unless the Phillies decide to platoon the position.


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