Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays have initiated contract extension talks with outfielder Austin Meadows. Meadows said, “I definitely would be open to something like that.” Extension talks haven’t gotten deep yet, just “some initial stuff,” as Meadows put it.
Meadows, 24, won’t become arbitration-eligible until after the 2021 season and wouldn’t become eligible for free agency until after the 2025 season. However, as teams have shown in recent years, signing productive young players to contract extensions can save them a lot of money down the road.
Last season, Meadows broke out, batting .291/.364/.558 with 33 home runs, 89 RBI, 83 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 591 plate appearances. Only nine outfielders (min. 500 PA) had a better OPS than Meadows. Seems like a player one would want to continue to play for one’s team.