Matt Harrison's goal: Keep getting better

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Don't expect a five-year, $55 million guaranteed contract to change Matt Harrison much.

The 27-year-old, who spoke more about his wife (Meghan) and 1-year-old daughter (Addie Grace) than he did himself after a Thursday news conference announcing his deal, grew up in a town of 200 people in North Carolina and is thankful to have the chance to pitch for a contending team and to help out his family.

"The whole town had one flashing light and a liquor store and a post office," said Harrison about Stem, N.C. "I met the mayor this offseason. I didn't know they had a mayor."

Harrison said he was still trying to process the fact that he had earned such a lucrative contract.

"In this industry, if you're able to go out and perform your job the money is there to be made," Harrison said. "I know what it was like growing up and how hard it was on my parents and now that I've signed this deal, it sets up my family, my daughter for life and any other kids we have. So it's very humbling to be able to do that and I won't take it lightly."

Harrison was willing to give up three years of his free agency for the security of staying in Texas and knowing he could take care of his family. If you think that means he'll just coast the next five years, forget it. That's not Harrison's style. He wants to get his slider up to speed, making it a pitch that can help him. He wants to prove he can throw at least 200 innings on a regular basis. And he doesn't care whether he's considered the No. 2 pitcher despite winning 18 games last season after how well Yu Darvish finished the season.

"I hope Darvish is the ace next year," Harrison said. "That’s a good thing. I hope to be one, too. Which game we pitch doesn’t matter to me. I’m just looking forward to the day I get the ball. I'm ready to win."