Veteran Boston Globe Columnist Nick Cafardo dies at 62

Boston Globe

Horrible news hit the Boston baseball and media world yesterday as veteran Boston Globe columnist Nick Cafardo died suddenly at the age of 62. Cafardo was at Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers when he suffered an embolism. The Red Sox medical team was unable to revive him.

As soon as the news of his passing began to circulate an outpouring of grief, sentiment and remembrances emerged from the baseball and baseball media world. Cafardo was uniquely beloved in that world. While I only met Cafardo a couple of times and only spoke with him briefly, I can attest, based on what others said about him to me in the past, that that sentiment about him is not merely a function of people saying nice things about someone who has passed. He was kind, friendly, funny, helpful and engaging. He was likewise an excellent reporter and writer.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora addressed the team on this morning. His full comments can be read here, at NBC Sports Boston. In short, he told the players to enjoy themselves on the field and to celebrate Cafardo’s life just as Cafardo enjoyed the game of baseball and covering the game of baseball. The Red Sox also placed a dozen roses at Cafardo’s seat in the press box. The Orioles sent a dozen donuts, which Cafardo would’ve appreciated.

For a fuller portrait of Cafardo the man and the reporter, check out the Globe’s coverage, the column from Cafardo’s longtime friend and colleague, Dan Shaugnessy, and a video tribute from NESN.

Rest in peace, Nick Cafardo. And best wishes and condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and loved ones.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

tampa bay rays
Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports

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.