UPDATE: Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada called up, not traded

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UPDATE: Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com reports that the Mets have summoned Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada from Triple-A Buffalo, as alluded to earlier. No word yet on what the corresponding roster moves will be.

9:19 AM: A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that neither Fernando Martinez or Ruben Tejada were placed on waivers, and thus, can’t be traded. And honestly, you’d have to think someone would claim them before the Mariners would even have the chance.

Another source adds that the moves were “internal stuff,” meaning that Martinez and Tejada are likely to be called up from the minors, not traded. The current buzz is that Alex Cora and Jeff Francoeur could be on their way out to make room for the new arrivals, but nothing will be confirmed until later today. Carry on, everyone.

8:30 AM: Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada were scratched from last night’s game with Triple-A Buffalo, prompting many to wonder if a trade or a promotion were imminent. We got our answer just a little after 1 a.m. EST.

Two sources — one with ties to the Mets organization, the other formerly with the organization — tell Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that the Mariners are involved with trade dialogue with the Mets and that Martinez could be included in a potential deal.

Upon hearing this, I immediately racked my brain for the most obvious trade candidates from Seattle. Outside of Jose Lopez, David Aardsma or Brandon League, Chone Figgins strikes me as the most likely possibility. There were some conflicting reports about his availability around the trade deadline, but his big contract should be able to pass through waivers with relative ease.

Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing has come to a similar conclusion, thinking that the two teams are working on a mutual dump of Figgins and Luis Castillo. Figgins is owed $9 million in each of the next two seasons, $8 million in 2013 and has a $9 million vesting option for 2014. Castillo will make $6 million next season in the final year of a four-year, $25 million contract.

It’s all guess work for now, so feel free to post your theories in the comments.

Jeffrey Springs, Rays agree to $31 million, 4-year contract

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Left-hander Jeffrey Springs became the first of the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration salaries with their teams to reach a deal, agreeing Wednesday to a $31 million, four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year old was among seven Rays who swapped arbitration figures with the team on Jan. 13. He began last season in the bullpen, transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts. He is 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 76 outings – 51 of them in relief – since he was acquired from Boston in February 2021.

Springs gets $4 million this year, $5.25 million in 2024 and $10.5 million in each of the following two seasons. Tampa Bay has a $15 million option for 2027 with a $750,000 buyout.

The 2025 and 2026 salaries can escalate by up to $3.75 million each based on innings in 2023-24 combined: $1.5 million for 300, $1 million for 325, $750,000 for 350 and $500,000 for 375. The `25 and ’26 salaries also can escalate based on finish in Cy Young Award voting in `23 and ’24: $2 million for winning, $1.5 million for finishing second through fifth in the voting and $250,000 for finishing sixth through 10th.

Tampa Bay’s option price could escalate based on Cy Young voting in 2025 and 2026: by $2.5 million for winning, $2 million for finishing second through fifth and $500,000 for sixth through 10th.

Springs would get $45.25 million if the option is exercised, $52.75 million with the option and meeting all innings targets and the maximum if he meetings the innings targets and wins two Cy Youngs.

Springs’ ERA last season was the second lowest in franchise history for a pitcher working a minimum of 100 innings. Former Rays ace Blake Snell compiled 1.89 ERA on the way to winning the 2018 AL Cy Young.

In addition to finishing sixth in the AL in ERA, Springs allowed three runs or fewer in 22 of 25 starts and two runs or fewer 17 times. He joined Tampa Bay’s rotation on May 9, gradually increasing his workload over his next six appearances. Springs was 6-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts after the All-Star break.

Arbitration hearings start next week and the Rays remain with the most players scheduled to appear before three-person panels.

Springs had asked for a raise from $947,500 to $3.55 million and had been offered $2.7 million. Tampa remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam, Pete Fairbanks and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.

Tampa Bay also agreed minor league contacts with catcher Gavin Collins and right-hander Jaime Schultz, who will report to major league spring training.

Infielder Austin Shenton and pitchers Anthony Molina and Joe LaSorsa also were invited to big league spring training.