Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera, 24, has agreed on a new contract. Herrera has signed a five-year extension with the club through the 2021 season. The new contract is worth $30.5 million, with club options for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, the Phillies confirmed on Thursday.
Just this past weekend at the Winter Meetings, there were rumors circulating about Herrera’s availability through trade. The Phillies quieted all rumors with the new deal, presumably seeing the 24-year old as a centerpiece for the future.
The contract does not include a no-trade clause, but will keep the center fielder in Philly through his prime years on a cost-efficient contract.
From his rookie year, his batting average has dropped 11 points, but his all-around contributions have increased. In his sophomore season, he smacked 15 home runs and swiped 25 bases, both career highs, en route to a .286/.361/.420 line. His plate discipline also noticeably improved, lowering his strike out rate and walking 35 more times than in 2015.
Herrera, known as “El Torito,” was the Phillies lone All Star Game representative after a breakthrough season, and General Manager Matt Klentak rewarded him with a new contract.
Herrera was originally brought to Philadelphia in the 2014 Rule 5 draft from the Texas Rangers as a middle infielder. El Torito transitioned into an outfielder in the Phillies farm system, blossoming into the starter and lead-off hitter of a young Phillies squad.
Rule 5 drafts have brought the Phillies luck starting with fellow center fielder Shane Victorino, and Herrera may just be another diamond in the rough.
Photo: Editosaurus (via Wikimedia Commons)