Mozeliak says Cardinals haven’t re-ignited Oswalt talks

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FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported last Saturday in his weekly “Full Count” video that the Cardinals and Red Sox had begun showing renewed interest in free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt. But one part of that appears to be off:

“I think when you look at our club and how things are going, there is no reason we’re going to need to go outside (the organization) at this point,” Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Our situation is like everyone else: fluid. But right now our starting rotation looks good. When you couple that with positives at Memphis, if we have emergencies I think we can deal with it.”

The “positives at Memphis” include top pitching prospect Shelby Miller, who has allowed just one run over his past two starts at the Triple-A level and is sporting a dominant 25/8 K/BB ratio in 18 innings this year.

It would certainly make sense for Boston to have ongoing interest in Oswalt given their pitching struggles, but he rejected offers from them this winter and seems content on waiting until a preferred destination opens up.

The 34-year-old had a 3.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 93/33 K/BB ratio in 139 innings last year for the Phillies.

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.