The Philadelphia Phillies made sure that their beloved El Torito would be a part of the organization for years to come.
Late Thursday, the Phillies announced that Odubel Herrera their talented center fielder had agreed to terms on a five-year extension that will keep him with the team through the 2021 season.
The deal includes options for the club in 2022 and 2023. One source close to the negotiations said the extension was worth $30.5 million and had an option for the club in 2022 for $11.5 million and in 2023 for $12.5 million.
Herrera, who is just 24, would have become eligible after the 2020 season for free agency. He is the only Philadelphia player that is signed beyond the 2017 season.
The contract will provide cost certainly for Philadelphia, who bought out the three salary arbitration seasons of Herrera, plus the first year of his free agency.
The deal also allows the Phillies to extend his time with the team due to two years of club options. Herrera and the Phillies will hold a Friday news conference to announce the new extension, said an official with the club.
This deal obviously will provide Herrera with financial security as well.
In 2016, Herrera hit .286 with 6 triples, 21 doubles, 15 homers and 49 runs batted in. he also stole 25 bases. He played on the All-Star team for the National League and was one of the finalists for the Gold Glove Award for outfielders.
In 2014, Herrera won the battling title for the Texas League Double-A and continued to play well that year in Venezuela during winter ball.
Herrera had originally been in the Texas Rangers farm system as a second baseman, but scouts for the Phillies saw him play in the outfield during his play in Venezuela and comments from the scout were critical in trying to get him to play for the squad.
The comments from scout are what convinced the Phillies of his talent and what made them go after him.
Philadelphia suffered through another poor season finishing in fourth place in the NL East. The Phillies were 71-91 on the season, 24 games behind the first place Washington Nationals.
With Herrera’s contract extended, the Phillies can now try to do the same with other stars in order to build a foundation to attract more talented players to the team.