Buck Showalter is introduced as Orioles manager

2 Comments

Buck Showalter met the Baltimore media and Britt Ghiroli takes down just about everything interesting he had to say.

Of particular interest was (a) his comments on restoring pride to the organization (he’s in favor of it) and his somewhat nervous rambling around on the concept of him being a micro manager.  I wish he had just been straight and said “Yeah, I am. And if you can find a team in greater need of micro-managing than this bunch, by all means, point me in their direction.”  He didn’t say that though, because Showalter is a gentleman.

He did say something very nice and touching. Showalter will be wearing #26 for the Orioles in honor of the late Johnny Oates, who was Showalter’s friend and, as far as I know, the only other guy besides Showalter to manage both the Orioles and the Rangers.  Buck, on Johnny:

“The first thing that came to mind was John. And he meant a lot to me in
my life, the impact he had,” said Showalter, who called Oates’ family
first to ask permission. It’s been five and a half years since John
passed away, and not many days go by that I don’t think about how lucky
I was to have him pass my way. He was pretty special.”

Here’s hoping Showalter can turn a once-proud organization around.

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

tampa bay rays
Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

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.