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Shields' deal could be worth $44-million



The Rays formally announced a seven-year contract with pitcher James Shields that could be worth up to $44-million and could be the longest contract in club history.

"I just want to be part of it,'' Shields said.

Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman cited three reasons for making such a commitment - Shields' "talent, work ethic and character.''

Shields is guaranteed $11.25-million - four years of salary starting at $1-million this season for a total of $9.25-million, plus a $2-million buyout - and the Rays hold options for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Based on figures obtained by the Times, here is the breakdown of what Shields could make:

2008 - $1-million
2009 - $1.5-million
2010 - $2.5-million
2011 - $4.25-million
2012 option - $7-million or 2-million buyout
2013 option - $9-million or $1.5-million buyout
2014 option - $12-million or $1-million buyout

There are also various incentive clauses based on innings pitched and starts, as well as where Shields finishes in the Cy Young voting that could add up to about $6.25-million more.

- Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:33am]


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