Scott deal official: $5M in '12, $6M option
UPDATE, 3:35: The Rays are planning for Scott to play against right- and left-handed pitchers, exec VP Andrw Friedman said, noting that one of the benefits of signing Scott is not having to carry an extra player. Scott's career average against righties is .271, with an .859 OPS, and is .240 against lefties with a .787 OPS.
Friedman downplayed any concern over Scott's surgically repaired right shoulder, and said: "He should 100 percent be able to DH on opening day and my sense is he'll be able to play first on opening day also if that's how we configure things.''
Scott hit .269 with 84 doubles and 75 home runs over the 2008-10 seasons; the Rays say only four other American Leaguers — and no other left-handed hitters — matched those numbers over that span: Evan Longoria, Miguel Cabrera, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis.
UPDATE, 1:31 Scott said he is looking forward to joining the Rays, having spoken with manager Joe Maddon on the phone. Specifically, he is glad he won't have to be facing the Rays pitching staff anymore: "It's gonna be a joy.''
Scott said his recovery from right shoulder surgery is "ahead of schedule,'' and he fully expects to be able to hit by opening day, make the necessary throws from 1B shortly after that and play the outfield by May or June.
And despite a reputation that precedes him for being outspoken on political issues and religious views, Scott expects no problem fitting into the Rays clubhouse:
"I'm a pretty easy guy to get along with. Low maintenance guy. I go, I do my work, and try to enjoy my teammates. I respect everybody, respect their beliefs. They're my teammates, they're like my brothers, they're like my family. I'm going to spend more time with them, then I will with my own family. I'm excited, I'm looking forward to it.''
BREAKING: The Rays have made their deal with Luke Scott official.
He will get $5-million in 2012, and has a $6-million option in 2013, or a $1-million buyout. With incentives, he could make another $2-million over the two years.
“Luke has established himself as one of the better power hitters in baseball, with consistent success in a variety of roles against both right- and left-handed pitchers,” said Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. “He’s shown he can perform in the American League East and we expect him to be healthy and productive again in 2012.”