Rays and Wade Davis agree to long-term contract worth up to $35.1 million

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Wade Davis is entering his second full season in the majors and wouldn’t have been arbitration eligible until 2013, but today the Rays announced that they’ve signed the 25-year-old right-hander to a long-term contract extension worth up to $35.1 million.

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times the contract is worth at least $12.6 million for four seasons, with the Rays holding team options for 2015, 2016, and 2017 that if exercised would be worth an additional $22.5 million.

If all seven years of the contract are exercised the Rays would be buying out Davis’ final two seasons of minimum salaried serfdom, three seasons of arbitration eligibility, and first two seasons of free agency. Getting all that for $35.1 million would end up being a tremendous bargain for Tampa Bay, but that is offset by the risking of handing $12.6 million in guaranteed money to a young pitcher who would have been cheap until 2013 and was already under team control through 2015.

Davis, who was a third-round pick in 2004 and debuted in late-2009, has a 4.02 ERA, .253 opponents’ batting average, and 149/75 K/BB ratio in 204 career innings. He looks like a solid mid-rotation starter right now and may still have the potential to develop into a solid No. 2 guy.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.