The Phillies locked up one of their young players on Thursday afternoon.The team announced that center fielder Odubel Herrera has signed a deal that locks Herrera in with a five-year, $30.5 million extension. The deal runs through 2021 and includes a club option at $11.5 million for 2022 and a club option for $12.5 million for 2023, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

Herrera would have been a free agent after four more seasons.

The move makes sense for the Phillies on a number of levels.   The first is cost certainty.  The Phillies can move forward knowing just precisely how much Herrera will be paid, not worrying about arbitration numbers from season to season.  The move also gives Herrera the same certainty; an injury or poor performance might derail his earning potential.

Second, as we saw with the White Sox and Nationals trade involving outfielder Adam Eaton, the Phillies have added value to Herrera, even should the team decide to trade him.   The high cost of Eaton was justified by his reasonably-priced contract.  The Phillies have now and likely will have other options in center field from their prospects and may decide dealing Herrera is the best move.

The former Rule 5 pick from the Texas Rangers has batted .291 over two seasons, with a .353 on base percentage.