Castro commits three errors in Wrigley debut

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Starlin Castro slips.jpgNo one really notices this sort of thing if Starlin Castro didn’t hit 6 RBI in his big-splash major league debut last Friday, but he did, so people notice. It was a bad night for Castro against the Marlins, as he committed three errors at short. A video reel of all three can be seen here.

For those who can’t watch the video, the first one came in the third inning when he fielded a grounder and appeared to throw it before he came set, sending the ball up the first base line.  Castro appeared to come set on the second error — this one in the sixth inning — but his throw just sailed on him, allowing the runner to reach.

The third error — though it did not lead to a Marlins run — was perhaps the most problematic.  It came with Hanley Ramirez up to bat in the eighth. Castro failed to come up with the ball on a backhand play. Fair enough, that happens. What doesn’t always happen was his reaction: he jogged after the ball, which sat several yards behind him in the grass. He wasn’t in any particular hurry, and he wasn’t paying any attention to Hanley Ramirez, which allowed Ramirez to take second base.

Nerves? Youth? Brain locks? Probably all of the above. But in light of his reputation and his monster debut last week, people in Chicago are going to expect more out of him than your typical rookie shortstop, so nights like this are going to be highlighted.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.