The Rays lock up Matt Moore for five years, $14 million with multiple team options

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Not counting the playoffs, Matt Moore has a grand total of three games and nine and one-third innings of major league experience. But as first reported by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, he is now locked up on a five-year, $14 million deal. That part of it takes him through arbitration. Marc Topkin adds that the Rays hold options for 2017-19, which could make this into an eight-year, $39.75 million deal over the 8 years

Say what you want about the uncertainty of pitching prospects, but this is an absolutely incredible bargain for the Rays. It makes the Evan Longoria deal — the current benchmark for a team-friendly deal — look like an overpay.  No, you can’t project a guy as young as Matt Moore to be the next Tim Lincecum, but look at the kind of money Lincecum made through his first five seasons — something like $27 million — and you can see what Moore is foregoing here.

And if Moore does fulfill his potential — even as a merely above average starter — the potential for the Rays to have him through age 30 at less than $40 million is a freakin’ steal.

Not that anyone can really blame him too harshly. Like I said: he has less than ten innings under his belt. He could blow out his arm tomorrow. Now, at age 22, his life is set up better than most people’s ever will be, even if it’s less-set-up than most ballplayers of his talent level typically are through the first five-eight years of their career.

In any case: solid move for the Rays. Just a fantastic business and baseball decision for them.

The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.