Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rays to Lock Up Shields

The Rays are about to lock up starter James Shields with a long term deal.

The deal has numerous incentive clauses, particularly in the option years, that will help protect the Rays if Shields doesn't live up to expectations or reward the pitcher if he continues on an upward trajectory. If all the options are picked up, Shields would give up his first two years of free-agent eligibility to remain in Tampa Bay.

Smart move, as was the Carlos Pena deal from last week.

Now: I don't follow the Rays all that closely, but what's going on with Scott Kazmir? I know he got a one year deal to avoid arbitration, but given that he is younger, better, and closer to free agency than Shields is, why aren't the Rays trying to lock him up too?


Anonymous said...

I'm under the impression that Kazmir is a Boras client. I'm blown away that Boras let Pena sign an extension that easily, but unless Boras has permanently changed his strategy for some reason, I can't see Kazmir signing that quickly.

Anonymous said...

^I'm pretty sure Kazmir's not a Boras client and that Brian Peters is his agent.

If I had to guess, I'd say that even though he hasn't shown any injury problems, the Rays are just hesitant to lock up somebody of Kazmir's size to a long term deal, knowing the type of money it will involve. The lesser players involve lesser risk. It's the only explanation I can think of. That being said, I think that'd be incredibly stupid on their behalf. For the longterm health of their franchise, they can't afford to lose him.

Or maybe they are working on a deal with him and are just doing a good job of keeping it away from the media.

Alan said...

Hi. The Rays and Kazmir actually did talk about a long-term deal but, according to Kazmir, didn't get very far. They may revisit that, however. The Rays seem to be building up a bit of goodwill with Kazmir, first by avoiding arbitration (which Kaz seemed to think was inevitable), then by spending some money on Pena and now Shields. No idea if it'll lead to anything, but it should keep the lines of communication open at least.