Filip Bondy zeroes in on the important part of Mariano Rivera’s big day

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I noted the whole “Jorge Posada should catch Mariano Rivera’s 602nd save” phenomenon yesterday, but I can’t say I expected it to be put so starkly and stupidly by someone who gets paid to write about sports.  Of course no one has ever gone broke underestimating the level of discourse from Filip Bondy of the Daily News:

… Girardi has a blind spot. He has disrespected Jorge Posada all season and it was no different on Monday. Here was a perfect opportunity, with a two-run lead, for Girardi to bring Posada off the bench to catch Rivera in the ninth inning for the closer’s 602nd save … It was a missed opportunity at Yankee diplomacy, and it happened simply because Girardi has no patience for Posada.

Well no, he didn’t have the “perfect opportunity” because Posada had already been used as a pinch hitter two innings prior. But let’s not let that get in the way of some good righteous indignation.

But sure, there may or may not be such a thing as “Yankee diplomacy” and it may or may not require some degree of obeisance. I’d venture, however, that any set of policies and protocols which require Joe Girardi to put a guy who has caught 2/3 of a single baseball game all year into the ninth inning of a late season baseball game is not worth honoring.

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.