The Indians are interested in Carlos Beltran too

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Yesterday it was said that five teams were on Carlos Beltan’s short list. Four were named. Which means … Mystery Team.

Sadly, Buster Olney put his Jessica Fletcher pearls on and solved that mystery: the Cleveland Indians. Ken Rosenthal confirms and argues that Beltran may be a good fit in Cleveland.

Not sure I’m buying it. The Indians don’t have a ton of room — at least on paper — in the outfield with Choo, Sizemore and Brantley, who while not as good as Beltran, obviously, is someone the Indians believe in. Travis Hafner is the DH.  You can guess that both Hafner and Sizemore will miss copious amounts of playing time with injuries, but if you’re Beltran, why do you go someplace where there is even the possibility that your presence is gonna upset some current players?

A bigger issue is the money. Rosenthal argues that, while Beltran is pricey for the Indians, the team could work him into the budget. He’s right, I think, but it seems tight. If there really are five teams bidding, it wouldn’t be hard to see the $10-12 million Beltan apparently wants to creep up a bit. And every notch higher is a little larger for the Indians than it is for, say, the Red Sox or the Cardinals.

Anything can happen. We’re told Beltran will sign this week. So I guess we just watch.

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.