Arthur Rhodes’ one-year deal with Rangers includes vesting option for 2012

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Arthur Rhodes and the Rangers agreed to terms on a one-year contract last week, but the deal finally became official yesterday and the monetary details have been revealed.

Rhodes will make $3.9 million this season and the deal also includes a $4 million option for 2012 that vests if he appears in at least 62 games and is not on the disabled list when the season ends.

As if making the All-Star team for the first time at age 40 wasn’t enough, the $3.9 million Rhodes will get in 2011 is more than he’s earned in any season of his 19-year career. And he’s appeared in 61, 66, and 69 games during the past three years, so there’s a decent chance the $4 million option for 2012 will vest.

Rhodes had a 5.32 ERA in 2006 and missed all of 2007 following Tommy John elbow surgery, yet returned at age 38 to post a 2.32 ERA and 138/54 K/BB ratio in 144 innings over the next three seasons. He’ll serve as one of Neftali Feliz’s setup men.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.