If you assume that player salaries will rise 10% a year, $9 million in 2011 is equivalent to $5 million in 2005. Kudos to the Devil Rays for signing a good young player to a creative long-term contract.
This is a great idea, and I expect to see more clubs follow this strategy.
Sounds as if the "new brand" of Rays are doing something smart here. Rocco is in fact an average player thus far, but speed is somthing that I tend to like alot.
I think the White Sox showed that speed and pitching can be a potent combination.
However, I think they won despite Kenny Williams there as GM. That was then, this is now. They just had luck on there side with all pieces coming together at right time. As witnessed in the trade yesterday, they gutted some usefull parts for an aging hitter signed to an expensive contract.