Rays pick up option on RHP James Shields
As expected, the Rays have picked up the $7.5 million option for RHP James Shields for next season, according to agent Page Odle.
Shields, 29, is coming off a spectacular bounce-back season in which he racked up a major-league high 11 complete games and earned his first All-Star selection. He won 16 games and posted career-highs in innings 249 1/3 innings and strikeouts.
Shields said he was pretty confident he'd be back, but joked "the wait of anticipation is always fun."
"Im glad it's over with," Shields said Monday afternoon. "I had some confidence they were going to pick my option up. What I did this last season, I think it definitely helped the cause out a little bit. Other than that, it's kind of one of those things where it's always nice to know I was in their plans."
Shields' option can escalate to $8 million depending on his finish in the AL Cy Young voting.
The Rays still have to decide on options for RHP Kyle Farnsworth ($3.3 million) and C Kelly Shoppach ($3.2 million) by midnight tonight.
-- JOE SMITH