Kazmir signs for $3.785-million; Shields next?
The Rays avoided arbitration with ace LHP Scott Kazmir after all, agreeing to a one-year deal for $3.785-million just ,minutes before the team-imposed noon deadline to halt talks.
The Rays are also working on signing starter James Shields to a long-term deal, possibly for as long as six- or seven-years, that will keep him with the team into his free-agency years.
As recently as mid-morning, Kazmir said he expected to end up in arbitration but negotiations continued and the sides came to agreement at 11:51 a.m. "Nine minutes to spare,'' Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said. "It was always our intent to avoid going to a hearing and it took both sides moving some to get a deal done,'' he said.
Kazmir, 24 next week, made $424,300 last season while going 13-9 with a 3.48 ERA and leading the AL with 239 strikeouts.