Bud Selig: George Steinbrenner is a Hall of Famer

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See, Bud and I don’t disagree on everything. In this, I’m right there with him:

Baseball
commissioner Bud Selig held court in the back of the press box Monday
night and was asked, among other things, if Steinbrenner deserves a
plaque in Cooperstown in addition to Monument Park. “Of course I do,”
Selig said. “Now I’m sure that will have some controversy, but you asked
me my opinion.”

Told that former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert is not in Cooperstown,
Selig said, “I didn’t have a vote back then and I don’t have a vote
now.”

He could have also added that the Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig teams over which Ruppert presided were more the doing of Ed Barrow than they were Ruppert. In contrast, Steinbrenner was truly a transformative figure, and for all of his flaws, I believe far more deserving of the Hall of Fame than Ruppert was.

Yes, I realize there is an army of Steinbrenner haters out there. I’m no personal admirer myself. But my view of the Hall of Fame is that it’s about history and impact and, ultimately, excellence, and no matter what else you can say about George Steinbrenner, you can’t say that he wasn’t historic, had no impact and did not do things which allowed the Yankees — and baseball as a whole — to excel.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander 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.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.