Rays lock Kazmir up, solidify contention run for years

May 15, 2008 at 9:21 am 2 comments

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Rays have been on a roll and are making all the right moves. They just locked up ace Scott Kazmir to a $28.5 million, three-year extension through 2011, a deal with a club option that could raise the contract’s value to $39.5 million over four seasons.

“It’s something we’ve been working hard to do over the past two years,” Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. “As we continue to win games and play in October, we envision Scott anchoring the staff for us.”

This deal covers the remainig two years of arbitration and one year of free agency, potentially two.

“I knew coming into spring training that this is the place I wanted to play,” he said, adding that he never gave a lot of thought to the possibility that he could command an even bigger contract as a free agent. “I wanted to win and play in October in Tampa Bay.”

Here is a breakdown of the contract courtesy of the AP:

He gets $6 million in 2009, $8 million in 2010 and $12 million in 2011. Tampa Bay’s 2012 option is for $13.5 million with a $2.5 million buyout.

Kazmir gets the use of a luxury suite for five home games each year, and he would receive $800,000 the first time he’s traded.

He will contribute $75,000 annually to the Rays Baseball Foundation in 2009 and 2010, $100,000 in 2011 and, if the option is exercised, an additional $100,000 in 2012.

The Rays now have Kazmir, Shields, Pena, Longoria, Crawford, and Wheeler locked up through at least 2010, the season I think the Rays will win the World Series.

So who’s next? Is B.J. Upton next? Is someone like Edwin Jackson or Matt Garza next? Who knows. It could be anyone.

The Rays have such a great core group of young players already in the majors and more on the way that they could do anything.

One thing is for sure; the Rays have a plan and they are sticking to it and they are proving already that it works. It won’t be long until this team is being talked about as a “model” franchise for the way management is making it a contender.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
some info taken from The Associated Press

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Erik  |  May 17, 2008 at 7:49 am

    so the model is go through 13 yrs of disappointment. Develop from within, make bad FA signings in hopes other teams will provide more prospects. Get new ownership who will reinvest in the product by signing talented young guys and fill in with Quality FA’s and make smart trades to give you a team.

    Good article Jonathan, BJ Upton will command a big salary… best to get him signed now rather than when he hits the open market…

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  May 17, 2008 at 8:23 am

    I’m talking about the way the team has been running since the new ownership has been in place. The model of building from within and locking those players up early and complementing them with good character veterans to fill needs.


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