With Harrison signed, that only leaves outfielder David Murphy and relief pitcher Neftali Feliz as the arbitration eligible players to deal with. These two players will send in their requests and Texas will counteroffer on Friday.
The signing of Matt Harrison is something Texas wanted to lock up the offseason. With Yu Darvish and Derek Holland locked up to long-term deals, this gives the Rangers three solid young pitchers to build a foundation on. It is a huge turnaround from the days where hitters ruled in Texas and pitching was sparse.
In 2012, Harrison finished the season with a team-high 18 wins and took home the Rangers' prestigious Pitcher of the Year honors. He has an impressive 3.34 ERA over 400 innings the last two seasons, both almost identical when it comes to his ERA totals. It is that consistency that Texas needs on the mound.
The $55 million deal includes a $13.25 million option for 2018 that could break $15 million if Harrison reaches incentives. There is also a $2 million buyout for that option. If Harrison pitches over 200 innings the final three seasons, he can vest the option.
The deal pays Harrison $13 million combined the first two years and $13 million a year for the next three. Yu Darvish has a $56 million deal through 2017 and Derek Holland has a $45 million deal through 2016, but has two options that could keep him in Texas until 2018.