Locking up good, young pitchers to contract extensions before they reach their arbitration years can be an effective way to manage costs. It can also turn out to be kind of a drag if things don't turn out. In 2009, Scott Feldman went 17-9 with a 4.08 ERA (114 ERA+), and the Rangers gave him a three-year contract extension with an option for a fourth year. The total of the deal was $14 million, which would have been a bargain if Feldman kept pitching like he did in 2009.
He didn't, pitching poorly in 2010 before going on the shelf with a knee injury. While he was gone, the Rangers won a pennant and figured out five pitchers they'd rather have in their rotation. He's due $7 million next year, which ties him with Ian Kinsler for the fourth-biggest salary commitment the team has next year. Yikes.
But if he can be a serviceable long man -- which is his role right now with Derek Holland's early exit -- and keep games close, he can still give the Rangers some value. That's something they probably weren't expecting after the way he finished 2010. After Holland left, Feldman retired five straight hitters before Victor Martinez reached on a Mitch Moreland error, and the right-hander retired the two hitters after that.
If the Rangers come back to win this game, why that $7 million will have just paid for itself! Either that or cost the Rangers in the money they could have made from merchandise in Game 6 and/or Game 7 because they won the series so quickly. One of those. Still, for this game at least, Feldman looks like a pitcher who can still help the Rangers.