Fanshots

Upton Avoids Arbitration Agrees to $7M Deal Plus Incentives

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Marc Topkin reports that B.J. Upton agreed to a $7M deal with incentives to avoid arbitration. The incentives, according to his tweet, are all based on plate appearances.

Rays, JP Howell agree to a $1.35MM salary for 2012

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Per MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith, Rays avoid arbitration with JP Howell. This monetary value isn't that surprising, perhaps a tad higher than might've been expected given that JP made 1.1MM last season in a disappointing year, but the difference isn't really meaningful.

RaysProspects Podcast - Jim Callis on the Rays' system

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Executive editor of BaseballAmerica Jim Callis (@jimcallisBA) answers some questions about the Rays farm system, the effects the new CBA will have on the club, and how he got started at BA.

MLB Mock Draft - Rays Draft Lucas Sims

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Click the link to check out my mock draft complete with in-depth assessments of each pick and each player drafted. I have the Rays drafting HS pitcher Lucas Sims. Feedback is much appreciated!

Michael Pineda traded to Yankees & Yanks Sign Kuroda

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Larry Stone of the Seattle Times & a few others have it as do our friends at RiverAveBlues. Jesus Montero & Hector Noesi going to Seattle for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. We have our new Paper Champs of 2012

Scott Deal Official; Signs For $5 million in 2012, $6 million option

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Via Marc Topkin. Scott's deal also includes a $1m buyout on the 2013 option, essentially paying Scott $6m for this season. This deal pays Scott like he's a 1-1.5 WAR player, which looks about right to me. Scott has averaged 1.2 WAR over the past three seasons (and that's including his injury-plagued 2011), and his lowest full-season WAR total is 1.2. So even if we expect him to regress some due to age, injuries, whatever, this seems like a fair deal.

Yoennis Cespedes = Adam Jones

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I've seen some hopeful mentions of the Rays targeting Yoennis Cespedes. In the link, Clay Davenport attempts to translate his stats to MLB. Most comparable player: Adam Jones. Do you want him? ht to insidethebook.com

"There's some talk with them, some talk with other teams," he said. "Obviously, I love playing...

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"There's some talk with them, some talk with other teams," he said. "Obviously, I love playing there, but for some reason they're looking for a DH and a first baseman. And I thought Kotchman and I were probably the two more consistent guys in the lineup last year. I know they want to upgrade the offense, but the offense is going to be fine as long as there's some production from the catching spot and shortstop. "Those positions were hitting under .200 and obviously I think that's going to improve, and because of that, it's going to make the rest of the team improve. But Kotch and I keep hearing in the offseason that they want to get better there (DH and first)." ... "You wonder why fans can't get involved with players,'' he said, "because they are here and gone.''

http://www.foxsportsflorida.com/01/11/12/Damons-future-in-question-as-Rays-sign-S/landing_rays.html?blockID=644282&feedID=3720 http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/content/johnny-damon-its-unhappy-day

Sounds like #Rays are moving close to a deal with Luke Scott.

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Sounds like #Rays are moving close to a deal with Luke Scott.

Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun now confirms a one-year deal with a 2013 option, pending a physical We'll keep you updated as news breaks on this, but it looks like the Rays may get their DH. As RJ notes, third time's the charm.