Mike Scioscia is in The Best Shape Of His (Managing) Life

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Mike Scioscia was in perfectly good shape during his 13-year career as the Dodgers’ catcher, so adding him to the ever-growing “Best Shape Of His Life” list wouldn’t really be accurate.

But after packing on quite a bit of weight during his 12-year managing career Scioscia dropped nearly 40 pounds this winter and told Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times that he plans to lose another 20 pounds:

Last season, it just got away from me. I realized I was getting too heavy, and I’ve got to get it down, so that’s what I’m doing. There’s a difference between putting on a little weight and getting unhealthy. I was starting to get unhealthy.

Plaschke tells the story of how Scioscia met his wife 30 years ago when she brought him a plate of cookies at Dodger Stadium. Now that same wife “kind of nudged” the 53-year-old manager to get in better shape. His father suffered a stroke at 60 and died at 71, and Scioscia explained “that’s always been in the back of my mind.”

At this point the “Best Shape Of His Life” roster has so many players that they could probably start a second and maybe even a third team, but every team needs a manager.

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.