The Texas Rangers avoid arbitration hearings by signing outfielders Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields to one-year contracts.
Yesterday afternoon marked the deadline for players and their teams to come to salary agreements before facing arbitration. The Texas Rangers had just two arbitration eligible players– Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields.
For the 19th straight season, the Rangers avoided arbitration hearings by inking Mazara to a one-year, $3.3 million contract, and DeShields to a one-year, $1.4 million contract.
According to Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant, the dollar amounts were lower than what was projected by MLB trade rumors:
It’s always nice to have players that don’t gripe about salaries. Smooth negotiations help a player get his mind right before spring training, and allow a team to more forward with its financial plans. Agreement is also a sign of good things to come for following arbitration years and for a player’s first free agent contract.
$1.4 million may not seem like much for a four-year MLB player, but Delino DeShields more than doubled his 2018 salary, a year in which he made the league minimum. DeShields did not have a good 2018 season; however, it seems the Texas Rangers instilled some faith in him for 2019.
As for Nomar Mazara, he made close to the league minimum last year. With this being his first year arbitration eligible, a significant salary bump to $3.3 million is certainly justified. He’s already established himself as one of the team’s top players and he’s only 23 years old.
Salary negotiations will be very intriguing for Mazara over the next three years, especially if he continues on an upward trend. The young talent is arb. eligible in 2020 and 2021. He is set for free agency prior to the 2022 season.
Though, the Texas Rangers would be foolish not to offer him a healthy contract extension somewhere in between. The Los Angeles Angels took arbitration out of the equation for superstar outfielder Mike Trout by signing him to a 6-year, $144.5 million contract in 2015.
While Nomar Mazara is not Mike Trout (nobody is), the argument could certainly be made that he is the Mike Trout to the Texas Rangers’ organization. Moreover, he’s a guy that Texas needs to lock up early in the process to prevent, or at least delay, losing him in the future.