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Closer Jose Leclerc, Rangers agree to $14.75M, 4-year deal

March 6, 2019
Texas Rangers pitcher Jose Leclerc throws during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Right-hander Jose Leclerc and the Texas Rangers have agreed to a $14.75 million, four-year contract, a deal that covers the seasons the closer would be eligible for salary arbitration.

Leclerc gets a $2 million signing bonus and salaries of $1 million this year, $2.25 million in 2020, $4 million in 2021 and $4.75 million in 2022. The Rangers has a 2023 option for $6 million with a $750,000 buyout and a 2024 option at $6.25 million with a $500,000 buyout.

Leclerc would be eligible for free agency after the 2023 season. The deal could be worth $26.25 million over six years.

A 25-year-old right-hander, Leclerc became the Rangers’ closer last season and went 2-3 with a 1.56 ERA and 12 saves in 16 chances. He converted his final 12 chances and finished with a 21-inning scoreless streak. He led big league relievers with a .126 opponents’ batting average.

Texas announced the deal Wednesday.

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