Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 3/20/12
The Texas Rangers took their first major step towards locking up their core players as they signed left-hander Derek Holland to a five-year deal. The contract, which runs through the 2016 season, also includes club option in 2017 and 2018. The Rangers began discussing a deal with Holland in December but the talks stalled. Holland is coming off a breakout season in 2011. In his first full year in the Texas rotation, Holland went 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA. Holland, 25, dazzled the country in his last start in Game 4 of the World Series. He pitched 8 13 shutout innings against St. Louis. Hollands regular season also included four shutouts, the most by a Texas pitcher since 1981. Holland, who made the Opening Day roster for the first time last year, was drafted in the 25th round by the Rangers in the 2006 draft. Texas general manager Jon Daniels said going into the offseason that lockinp up core players would be an offseason priority. Holland marks the first player the Rangers have signed this offseason that includes free agent years.
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