DeJesus extension done: Less in '14, $10.5-million guaranteed
UPDATE, 7:02: Executive VP Andrew Friedman said they were glad to hang on to DeJesus. Sounds like the team was interested in doing a multiyear deal, and the option was only picked as a matter of procedure since DeJesus couldn't get a physical done by the Sunday deadline.
Friedman: "Both sides approached this with the intent to try to get something done. David wanted to be here and we wanted him to be here. He does a lot of things that we value. He fit in extremely well for the time he was here, and I think more than anything us getting the chance to be around him, and also probably as important as anything was getting a chance to watch how he takes care of himself, gave us confidence and conviction he would be able to remain a good player for at least the next two years.''
UPDATE, 4:14: DeJesus did a conference call with Tampa Bay area media and said, basically, that the chance to stay with the Rays and get the extra guaranteed year made it all worthwhile:
"Playing meaningful baseball was high in my priorities. Being back with that team and getting back with those guys that I grew comfortable with, that was definitely something. And I just wanted a fair deal, and I feel we worked towards it and we got it.''
DeJesus said the multiyear deal was in play when Sunday's option deadline came up, but he couldn't get down to St. Petersburg in time for a physical so his agents at ACES and the team first announced the option was picked up, then after the physical made the new deal official today.
DeJesus said he liked the opportunity in Tampa Bay. "I knew that a couple years guaranteed and then being on a team that's going to be in contention, not just after opening day you know your season is going to be a losing season, so I feel excited to be back. Just being around Joe maddon and Andrew (Friedman, exec VP) they made it comfortable to play and be myself out there on the field. So I decided that I think the contract works out for both sides.''
DEVELOPING: The Rays and OF David DeJesus completed the contract extension they were working on, and the bottom line is that DeJesus agreed to take less money in 2014 for more overall - $10.5-million guaranteed.
DeJesus will make $4.25-million in 2014 - less than his $6.5-million option - but also gets a $250,000 signing bonus, plus a $5-million contract for 2015 and a $5-million option or a $1-million buyout for 2016.
In short, DeJesus agreed to take $2-million less in 2014 in return for at least $4-million more, and possibly $8-million more if the 2016 option in exercised, by signing the extension.
DeJesus, 33, told the Times on Sunday he was pleased it worked out.
"I'm excited to be a Ray again,'' DeJesus said. "I wanted to get it done early, and we got to a number both sides could work with. ... Now I don't have to worry about free agency, and I know exactly where I'm going to be.''
DeJesus, who made the first postseason appearance of his 11-year career in 2013, also said it was important to stay with a contender, and he was looking forward to trying to win a World Series.
The Rays acquired DeJesus in late August from the Nationals, who got him a few days previously from the Cubs, and the lefty swinger hit .260 with a .328 on-base percentage in 35 games, with the ability to hit leadoff and play all three outfield spots.