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.
Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:
“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.
“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”
Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.