It's been option-weekend in Tampa Bay. The Rays picked up the $7M option of Ben Zobrist and $5M option of Yunel Escobar on Saturday -- easy decisions, to say the least -- and faced midnight deadlines to pick up OF David DeJesus's $6.5M option ($1.5M buyout) on Sunday, with a decision due this evening on former Marlins closer Juan Carlos Oviedo ($2M option, $30K buyout). One of those decisions came Sunday evening:
Yesterday afternoon we knew the Rays were at least exercising DeJesus's club option for 2014, but something was causing a delay. We now know that something was a three-year deal:
Just talked to @David_DeJesus3, quite pleased to be staying w/ #Rays + new deal (2014-15, '16 option): "I'm excited to be a Ray again."— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) November 4, 2013
While details have yet to emerge on dollar amounts, you can follow our coverage on The David DeJesus Decision here.
DeJesus was acquired on non-revocable waivers near the trade deadline from the Nationals for a player to be named later, which has yet to be resolved. The move solidifies the starting position in left field for at least the next two seasons.
Speaking with Marc Topkin late last week, Andrew Friedman spoke of the caution necessary when making early off-season moves: "We have to utilize all the information we have accumulated to that point to make the best decision possible while also appreciating the trickle-down effect of each move."
Friedman was speaking directly in response to questions regarding David Price, but the current implication is that the Rays may not need to be focused on acquiring a major-league ready outfielder if they move a starting pitcher this winter. Outfielders like St. Louis's Oscar Taveras and Los Angeles's Joc Pederson come to mind.
In league-wide news, the Rays are not expected to extend qualifying offers to any of their free agents this off-season, which has a deadline of 5:00 EST this afternoon. Free Agency begins at 12:01 AM Tuesday morning.
- Major League Baseball has intervened in the Oakland stadium saga, demanding the Coliseum offer a two-year lease on the A's terms, or the A's may move to San Francisco's AT&T Park on a two-year rental agreement next season. The holdup in conversations has been driven by concession revenue and length, but I'm sure there are other factors.
- According to the New York Times, possible MLB signee and current Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka threw a 160 pitch Game 6 on Saturday, then closed Game 7 last night to deliver the Rakuten Eagles their first Japan Series title.
- MLB Trade Rumors posted their 2014 Top-50 Free Agent Predictions, speculating that Justin Morneau will head to the Rays, while projecting Fernando Rodney and Jesse Crain as future Astros.
- Former catcher Brad Ausmus, who played under Jim Hickey's tutelage in Houston, was named manager of the Detroit Tigers this weekend.
- Baseball Nation: After a retrospective on the career of Tim McCarver, who retired last month, Rob Neyer gave his thoughts on who should replace him as Joe Buck's color commentator for baseball coverage. | Grant Brisbee finds a landing spot for Robinson Cano.
- Two-Strike Hitting: ICYMI, Bradley Woodrum built a handy tool for player comparisons and analysis | James Gentile investigateed taking the close pitch on a two-strike count
- Marc Hulet parses the rookie classes, putting the Rays into his second tier for 2013, while noting the team had the fifth fewest rookies used in 2013, but the fifth highest WAR generated from first year players.
- Monday Morning read: Baseball Prospectus writer Colin Wyers was hired by the Astros last week, announced on Friday, and his farewell article is worth your time.
- Tweet of the day:
So excited to be a Ray again!!!— David DeJesus (@David_DeJesus3) November 4, 2013