Rays decline option on Scott; pick up options on Molina, Rodney, Shields
UPDATE, 4:41: Rays exec VP Andrew Friedman, on a conference call, said the decision on Scott was primarily to maintain flexibility as they go forward filling several open spots in the lineup and not wanting to commit in any one direction yet. He said they agreed to "keep the door open" over the winter about resigning. .... He said the decision on Molina was made with the idea that he would "be one of two" catchers, but it was too early to say whether that would be in a primary or seconday role based on who else was available. ... He also said they can definitely afford to carry both Shields and David Price (who is expected to get $8-10-million via arbitration), and do not feel they "have" to trade a starter as they seek to bolster their offense.
BREAKING: The Rays decidcd to decline their $6-million option on DH Luke Scott, opting instead to pay him a $1-million buy out.
The Rays, as reported by the Times Tuesday, picked up their options on RHP James Shields ($10.25-million), RHP Fernando Rodney ($2.5-million) and C Jose Molina ($1.8-million).
Scott hit .229 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI over 96 games, missing 45 games with two stints on the disabled list, making $5-million.
Rodney, 35, had a record-breaking first season with the Rays, with a team-record 48 saves while posting a 0.60 ERA, an MLB record for a reliever, and made the All-Star team. He also was named AL Comeback Player of the Year and MLB Delivery Man of the Year.
Molina, 37, hit .223 with eight home runs and 32 RBI over 102 games, throwing out 27.8 percent of attempted base stealers.
Shields, 30, was 15-10, 3.52 ranking third in the AL in innings (227.2) and fourth in strikeouts (223).