Tonight is a good night for the reason explicitly spelled out in the title of this post, but even though this news looks really exciting at first blush, it doesn't make it that good of a night.
As reported earlier by FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, the Rangers have agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension (pending physical) with franchise shortstop Elvis Andrus that is reportedly worth $14.5 million. The year-to-year financial breakdown of the deal has not yet been made public, but what we do know is that Elvis's new deal does not include a guaranteed fourth year or even a fourth-year option, meaning that this deal only spans his three arbitration-eligible seasons, and has no direct bearing on the timing of his free-agent eligibility.
That, in and of itself, is a bummer (albeit an expected bummer), and something that precludes me from being able to get overly hyped about Elvis being "locked up," as the structure of this deal means there's no immediate prospect of Elvis being retained beyond the 2014 season ... which would have been the case even if the Rangers had elected to continue re-upping Elvis on a year-to-year basis leading up to arbitration. In that sense, the only major benefits actually being conveyed by this deal are cost certainty (from the Rangers' perspective) and financial security (from Elvis's perspective), as well as the added perk of neither side having to worry about the potential acrimony that often arises from the arbitration process.
There is the possibility of the Rangers actually saving themselves a little bit of money here in the long run, but there's no chance that the long-term cost savings will be anything like what we've seen with Ian Kinsler's extremely club-friendly deal. Given that Elvis asked for $3.6 million this year and the Rangers offered up $2.65 million, there's a good chance that the two sides would have settled for something in the vicinity of $3.1-3.2 million, meaning that this deal values Elvis's expected output in 2013 at around $5 million and in 2014 at around $6.5 million. Compared to his expected arbitration figures in those two seasons, the Rangers are likely only saving about $2-3 million at most.
Unless, of course, Elvis takes a significant step forward offensively in the next year or two (with those gains most likely to be found in his power output, if they should materialize at all), and ends up blooming into a legitimately elite American League shortstop. And maybe the Rangers were mindful of that possibility when they were busy wrapping this deal up. Or maybe they're figuring that this deal could function as an eventual stepping stone to a true long-term extension with Elvis, regardless of Scott Boras's motivation to push his clients into the open market.
Or maybe it's just as simple as the Rangers seeing virtually no downside in this deal ... because this isn't Scott Feldman v. 2.0, and Elvis isn't held together by bubble gum and paper clips.