Derek Holland is a 25-year-old lefthanded pitcher. Yes, 25, even though his facial hair makes him look like he's about 16. In 2011, he had a solid season, going 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, and leading the American League in complete-game shutouts with four.
Tuesday, the Rangers are reportedly rewarding that performance with a contract extension:
If Holland continues his 2011 performance level over that five-year period, Texas could be getting quite a bargain. Fangraphs says Holland's 2011 season was worth $16.1 million in current dollars, and the average annual value of the deal, according to the Heyman tweet, is just a little over $5 million.
This is part of a trend in which teams are locking up younger players, buying out arbitration years and the first year or two of free agency, paying some money now in order to avoid paying more later. You might even call it the new market inefficiency, or at least trying to take advantage of market conditions before they burn you. The deal also includes team options that could keep Holland in a Rangers uniform through 2018:
#Rangers Derek Holland deal for approx $28 million also inc 2 club options for 2017 ($11 million), 2018 ($11.5 million) w/incent. (source)— Richard Durrett (@espn_durrett) March 20, 2012
Perhaps by the end of the five (or seven, if the Rangers exercise both options) years, Holland will be able to grow a proper mustache.