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Rays Sign Peña 3/24, Kazmir 1/3.8, and Discussing Long Term Deal with Shields

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The St. Petersburg Times is reporting this morning that 1B Carlos Peña will have parlayed his wildly successful 2007 season into a lucrative three year contract. Peña and the Rays have apparently agreed to a three year contract that will pay the first baseman a total of $24 million, or about $8 million a year. The deal means that the Rays will avoid arbitration with Peña both this year and next, as the contract extends through 2010. The deal will also mean that Peña's first eligible year for free agency will be spent under team control. The contract is the largest given out under Stu Sternberg's ownership, and the largest in team history since the Hit Show years.

R.J.: "I've seen many, many blue skies turn gray, but the sun will eventually return," he says. "And so will I. So will I." - Carlos Pena after Oakland demoted him.

2008: 6 million
2009: 8 million
2010: 10.125 million

UPDATE: No arb for Kaz after all, one year, 3.87 million.

UPDATE from Topkin's blog:

The Rays are also working on signing starter James Shields to a long-term deal, possibly for as long as six- or seven-years, that will keep him with the Rays into his free-agency years.

Please...

The Rays seem to have zeroed in on their targets. The team is in the midst of discussions with James Shields about a deal that could cover at least the next five or six seasons, and the process is far enough along that it may be wrapped up within the next week.

Lancaster provides the above. Impressive.

Because 2008 wasn't shaping up to be an important year as it is Lancaster has some quotes from Kazmir that make it sound like this year will weigh largely on his future prospects in Tampa:

"I love the city, I love the fans, I love the guys on the team," he said. "I’m very comfortable in Tampa, so I’d love to stay here." But?

"I just want to win," he said. "I know from talking to all my teammates that that’s their first priority. It’s coming around, though. It really is. We’ve made some huge steps. This will be a big year to know what’s in store for us in the future."

Win 85: build a house, save your ace?