Rays pick up options on James Shields, Kyle Farnsworth

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The Rays reached decisions on their three option calls Monday afternoon, exercising the $7.5 million option on James Shields’ contract and the $3.3 million option on Kyle Farnsworth’s deal.

Declined was Kelly Shoppach’s $3.2 million option. He’ll get a $300,000 buyout.

Shields’ option was a no-brainer. The Rays also hold options on his services for 2013 ($9 million) and 2014 ($12 million). Shields went 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA last season. He led the majors with 11 complete games and he was second in the AL in innings (249 1/3) and third in ERA.

Farnsworth’s option was also a pretty easy call after he finished with a 2.18 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP in 57 2/3 innings as the team’s closer. It’s doubtful that he’ll be so good again, but for $3.3 million, it’s well worth bringing him back. Plus, the Rays would have had to pay him $650,000 anyway had they declined the option.

Shoppach gets let go despite a late surge that saw him hit four homers in 29 at-bats during September and two more against the Rangers in the ALDS. Shoppach, though, was pretty brutal overall during his two years in Tampa Bay, hitting .185 in 379 at-bats. That did come with 16 homers, but even so, he drove in just 39 runs.

A solid defensive catcher, Shoppach shouldn’t have much difficulty finding work, but he’s probably looking at a paycut to the $1.5 million-$2 million range. The Rays figure to seek a catcher upgrade this winter, though they could re-sign Shoppach if nothing else comes to fruition.

Jose Canseco tweeted some dumb things about sexual harassment yesterday

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Former A’s star Jose Canseco made a series of tweets about sexual misconduct and politicians yesterday. Those tweets led to condemnation from his former team and from NBC Sports California, which employed him as an analyst in 2017.

Among his tweets were comments such as, “What is going on with all these politicians molesting women I’ve been molested by several women and never complained,” and “These women complaining against sexual misconduct are just racist against ugly men.” After he began to receive pushback, he tweeted about political correctness and claimed that the media was overly concerned with him. The tweets, as of this writing, are still up on his page if you’re curious to see them.

Late yesterday, the A’s said this in response:

Among the A’s “most trusted partners,” is NBC Sports California, which is — full, obvious disclosure — affiliated with NBC, and which broadcasts A’s games. Last season Canseco worked for the network, serving as a pregame and postgame analyst. NBC Sports California said the following in response to Canseco’s tweets:

Jose Canseco is no longer an employee with NBC Sports California. His agreement with us ended after the 2017 baseball season. We certainly don’t agree with his comments, which do not reflect the values of our network or our team partner.

Canseco, who has found himself in and out of controversy many, many times since breaking on to the scene in the 1980s, had found notoriety with his Twitter account in recent years. Several of his tweets, many of which were composed by ghostwriters, went viral due to their surreal or absurd quality. One strongly suspects that these tweets were not written by his creative team.