Willson Contrearas stops to admire his double

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Cubs manager Joe Maddon has a charitable foundation called the “Respect 90” foundation, which helps disadvantaged kids. This is part of its mission statement:

“In his 12 seasons as a major league manager, Joe Maddon has made few demands of his players, but there is one: all players must run hard to first base. ‘I ask our players to run hard for 90 feet to respect that distance and the respect will come back to you,’ he says.

That’s a good philosophy! I’m wondering, though, if instead of merely leaving it up on the foundation’s website, Maddon shouldn’t print it out and tape it to the clubhouse wall. Preferably someplace close to Willson Contreras‘ locker:

As you can see, Contreras admired that as a homer but it hit the wall and he was lucky he made it in safely with the double. The photo at the top of the page was the slide he was required to execute in order to make it.

Maddon likely wasn’t pleased with it, but Contreras was contrite about it after the game. He’s not known to be a slacker or a hot dog. He’s been slumping badly and, I imagine, he was simply jacked to have finally, he thought, hit a homer. Stuff happens.

But it’s never not funny to see a guy’s startled realization that he misjudged a blast and suddenly have to shift into high gear like that.

Rays’ Yandy Díaz gets three-year, $24 million deal to avoid arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract 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.