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.