There’s allegedly a “secret plan” to keep the Rays in St. Petersburg

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I like this story a lot. Not because it has any new information, really, but because it involves a mayor of a large U.S. city basically saying “I have a secret and I can’t tell you so nyah, nyah nyah.”

Short version: the Rays want out of St. Pete because its not economically viable to play in the Trop. While the city has a pretty iron-clad lease requiring that the Rays stay, there are allegedly conversations being had about a plan that would either keep the Rays in St. Pete in a manner more to the team’s liking or that would allow them to look elsewhere without penalty or … something.

And that’s where the silliness comes in, with the mayor making oblique allusions to secret plans — he actually uses the term “secret plan” — that no one besides him apparently knows about.

Politics has become so polished and detached from the human experience. I love it when once in a while the polish comes off and you see public officials acting like little kids or something.

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.