The Yankees want to buy into the Premier League? Sure. . .

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This has been floating around for a couple of days, but the British tabloid the Daily Star reported on Sunday that the Yankees were considering buying Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League.  A couple of things about this report:

  • It comes in a newspaper which features topless models;
  • Despite having the topless models thing going for it — which I view as a positive, by the way — British tabloids are notorious for selling scare stories about foreigners ruining proper British institutions like soccer leagues and city streets and stuff. The only thing the Yankees-Spurs story needs in order to make it a perfect British tabloid cliche is scary south-Asian immigrants and/or young, sideways ballcap-wearing, bat-toting chavs intent on ruining tea time or village greens or whatever it is scared and reactionary British people fear modern society is ruining for them;
  • The primary quotes here come from Hank Steinbrenner, who is essentially the Fredo of the Steinbrenner family. Really, he may as well be going on about how you shouldn’t talk to Moe Greene and about how he’s “smaht” and was told that there was something in it for him, because if the Yankees are going to make a $600 million+ investment in anything, you can bet that Hank ain’t in on the discussion;
  • The story says that Hank played college soccer. Everyone was young once, but I can’t square the image of Hank Steinbrenner as photographed above with a college soccer player; and
  • The Yankees are smart. The history of American sports executives investing in English soccer is littered with dumb people making dumb decisions.  I can’t really picture Hal Steinbrenner plunking half the value of the Yankees into that kind of an investment.

But hey, at least we got an excuse to use the Hank smoking picture again, and that’s always fun.

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.