Texas Rangers, Harrison agree to 5-year, $55 million extension

Matt Harrison could be calling Rangers Ballpark his home through 2018, and the Texas Rangers have locked up 80 percent of their starting rotation through at least 2016.

Harrison and the Rangers agreed to a five-year deal worth $55 million Wednesday with a club option that can become a vesting option if he meets an innings thresholds.

The deal wipes out Harrison's final two years as an arbitration-eligible player and his first three free-agent years. He had filed for arbitration Tuesday after making $3.2 million in 2012.

The Rangers had no comment. Harrison, who passed his physical Wednesday night, also declined comment. There will be an afternoon news conference today to announce the deal.

Harrison went 18-11 with a 3.29 ERA in 213 1/3 innings in 2012, and was a first-time All-Star. The wins, ERA and innings were career-highs in a year that served as an encore to a breakthrough 2011 season in which he went 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA.

His deal includes a $1 million signing bonus and will pay him annual salaries of $5 million in 2013, $8 million in 2014, and $13 million in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The club holds the option for 2018, with a $2 million buyout, but it can vest if Harrison pitches 200 innings in each of the final three years. Escalator clauses can lift the value of the option to $15.75 million.

The Rangers now have four starting pitchers all currently 29 years old or younger who will be under contract during the prime years of their career.

Yu Darvish, 26, has five years left on his contract; Derek Holland, 26, has four years and two club options remaining; and Alexi Ogando, 29, is under club control for four more seasons.

The 27-year-old Harrison, part of the Mark Teixeira trade in 2007, could outlast them all and at a far more affordable rate than other older starting pitchers.

Including Harrison's deal, the highest annual salary among the four Rangers starters is $13 million.

That's $250,000 less than Boston will pay 35-year-old Ryan Dempster the next two seasons, and $3 million to $7 million less than C.J. Wilson will get from ages 33, 34 and 35 from Anaheim in 2014 to 2016.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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