Long time Blue Jays infielder Dámaso García dies at 63

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Enrique Rojas of ESPN reports that long time Blue Jays infielder Dámaso García has died at 63.

García played for 11 seasons in Major League Baseball, seven of which came for the Blue Jays, where he formed a well-regarded double play combination with shortstop Tony Fernandez, who also recently passed away. He began his career with the Yankees, who signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 1975. He was part of a big trade that sent him, Chris Chambliss and Paul Mirabella to Toronto for Tom Underwood, Rick Cerone and Ted Wilborn. García would end his career with short stints for the Braves and Expos.

García was a two-time All Star, in 1984 and 1985. He was the Silver Slugger winner at second base in 1982 when he hit .310/.338/.399 and stole 54 bases. He had a nearly identical offensive season the following year. Those were his two best at the plate. García also played for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Republic, represented his country on its national team, and served as the president of the Dominican Republic player’s union.

García’s career came to an end following the 1989 season. A year later he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 1990, the surgery and recovery from which impacted his mobility. He recovered enough, however, to throw out the first pitch of a Blue Jays playoff game in 1992. In retirement he ran a baseball camp in the Dominican Republic for children who have hemophilia, which is a condition that his oldest son has.

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

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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.