Rays retain Shields, Farnsworth


Posted Nov 1, 2011


The end of the World Series means the start of offseason decision-making for the Rays, and they have decided to bring back two key players. James Shields and Kyle Farnsworth will both be under contract for 2012. Meanwhile Catcher Kelly Shoppach had his option declined. We have more information inside.

The Rays exercised the first of three club options on James Shields, who is coming off a remarkable bounceback season. The right-hander will be a relative bargain with a 2012 salary of $7.5 million, thanks to an innings-related escalator, and the possibility of an additional increase to $8 million based on where he finishes in the AL Cy Young voting.

The bigger question for the Rays will be whether they hang onto Shields, or if they will be overwhelmed by offers and consider dealing him. They could consider a multiplayer package similar to the one they received last year for Matt Garza. The Rays -- and others -- are looking ahead to Shields' $9 million for 2013 and his $12 million option for 2014.

The Rays also retained reliever Kyle Farnsworth, exercising his $3.3 million option. Farnsworth gave the Rays a solid 2011 season -- a 5-1 record, 2.18 ERA and 25 saves (in 31 chances) -- but was limited over the final two weeks and into the postseason by a tender elbow, pitching just four times after Sept. 10.

The option on catcher Kelly Shoppach was declined. The budget-conscious Rays couldn't justify a raise from $3 million to $3.2 million after the veteran hit only .176 with 11 homers, 22 RBI and a .607 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. However, the Rays did like his defense and game-calling enough that they would be interested in bringing him back as a lower salary, so it's expected they will maintain dialogue.



Related Stories
Scouting Playoff Pitchers: James Shields
 -by ScoutingBaseball.com  Sep 30, 2011
Rays Playoff Scouting Report
 -by ScoutingBaseball.com  Sep 29, 2011
Shields The Complete Package
 -by RaysDigest.com  Sep 6, 2011

PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION INCLUDES
> Members-only Forums
> Insider Information
> MiLB &
   MLB Draft News
> Expert Chats

Sign Up Today!

Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from RaysDigest.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
RP Kyle Farnsworth (profile)
SP James Shields (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Baseball > Tampa Bay
[View My HotList]