Last week I asked Rays beat reporter Dennis Maffezzoli about a fan who had the perception that the Devil Rays don't keep players who come through the system around long enough, and he had this response :
The question remains, When does the future become the present? The Rays identified three players - Crawford, Baldelli and Upton - as players they want to build around. They tried to sign them to long-term contracts, buying out their arbitration years and a year or two of spring training. But the team is not making it worthwhile for the players to sign. They need to up the ante. Agents see arbitration as a way to make up some of the money lost during the first three years and a stepping stone to a big payoff come free agency. Chuck said before the season there will be more multi-year contracts handed out in the next couple of years, both with the home-grown players and free agents. We'll see.
I guess they upped the ante. This is the second instance of scouting , developing, and locking up a player that comes through the Devil Rays oraganization. With Huff being the first. This is a significant achievemnt for the Devil Rays franchise.