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Matt Moore to get big deal: $14M guaranteed; up to $39.75M over 8 years



UPDATE, 4:58: Talks on the deal started in earnest 3 weeks ago and Moore indicated the Rays came a long in their proposals. Of the final deal, he said: "I had to basically make up my mind, was it worth it. I  feel like the risk is being shared on both ends and I'm happy where we are.''

UPDATE, 3:44: Moore admitted he was a bit surprised the Rays came to him this early in his career, but said after a few weeks of talks he was excited by the opportunity. And while the deal comes with some risk for the Rays, they felt good about it too, executive VP Andrew Friedman said.

Here is the annual breakdown of salaries, in addition to a $500,000 signing bonus:

2012: $1 million
2013:  $1 million
2014: $1-million
2015: $3-million
2016: $5-million
2017: $7-million option or $2.5-million buyout
2018: $9.5-million option or $1-million buyout
2019: $10-million option or $750,000 buyout

BREAKING: Rookie LHP Matt Moore obviously made quite an impression on the Rays after his late-season promotion.

Enough that they agreed to sign him to a long-term deal that will guarantee him $14-million over the next five seasons and could be worth $39.75-million over the next eight if three option years are exercised.

The Rays plan an 2 p.m. announcement, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported the agreement on Twitter.

Moore, 22, capped a tremendous minor-league season with a September promotion to the majors, making three appearances during the regular season, including a dazzling start at Yankee Stadium in which he struck out 11 in five innings, and then started the opening game of the playoffs against the Rangers.

If all three options are exercised, the Rays would have cost certainty through Moore's arbitration years and have the opportunity to buy out his first two years of free-agent eligibility.

According to ESPN, the deal would represent the most guaranteed dollars and potential earnings for a pitcher with less than two years of service time in baseball history. It would surpasses previous deals for the Rays James Shields and Wade Davis and Oakland's Brett Anderson, who all had one year of service time when they signed their contracts.

Moore is the latest Ray to get a long-term deal, joining current teammates James Shields, Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and Wade Davis.






[Last modified: Sunday, January 8, 2012 12:41am]


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