Free agents departing Rays have signed for $213 million

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Following the Yankees signing Rafael Soriano to a three-year, $35 million deal last night Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune notes that the eight free agents departing the Rays this offseason have signed elsewhere for a total of $213 million over 19 years.

That total will rise to $215 million for 20 seasons once Chad Qualls’ deal with the Padres becomes official and Type A free agent Grant Balfour is still on the market (as are Willy Aybar and Lance Cormier).

Meanwhile, the Rays’ big free agent splash was signing middle reliever Joel Peralta to a one-year, $900,000 contract.

Tampa Bay isn’t nearly as bad off as those figures would suggest, as the Rays have several prominent young players like Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson ready to step into big roles, but $215 million versus $900,000 is still pretty staggering.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.