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Monday, November 26, 2012

Ray Lock-up Longoria

 http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/Evan-Longoria.jpg

The Tampa Bay Rays made an uncharacteristic move on Monday opening up the pocketbooks to the tune of $100million over the next six seasons for all star third basemen Evan Longoria. The small market Ray aren't know for spending big bucks, letting players seeking big money and big years walk (most recent examples include BJ Upton and Carlos Pena). Given the other moves made by teams in the AL East this off season and the bottomless pockets on the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, just waiting to scoff up big name free agents, for the Rays this was a move that needed to take place.

 “We drafted Evan in 2006 with the belief that he and the organization would grow with each other and together accomplish great things,” said Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg.  “That is why the Rays and Evan signed a long-term contract in 2008, and it is why we are extending our commitments today.  Evan has clearly become a cornerstone player and a fixture in our organization.  We are proud of what we have accomplished these past seven years, and I expect the best is yet to come.”

It will be interesting to see what this deal means for other home grown players in line for big time pay raises. Tampa is believed to be shopping the likes of James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson and Wade Davis. Longoria, like several of the home grown members of the pitching staff, is a franchise type player worthy of the of long term contract he received.

“Evan has all of the attributes we seek in a player,” said Rays Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman.  “His determination and work ethic inspire others around him.  He is devoted to his craft and strives to improve himself every year, and he defines success in terms of team performance and achievement.  It’s exciting to know that Evan will be manning third base for the Rays for many years to come.”

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