Monday, February 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays extend expected qualifying offer to B.J. Upton

ST. PETERSBURG — With free agent centerfielder B.J. Upton likely headed off for a big-bucks deal, the Rays on Friday made the one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer required under new major-league rules to get draft-pick compensation if he leaves.

Upton, 28, has a week to decide on the offer. He's expected to decline and sign elsewhere, which means the Rays would get a compensatory pick at the end of the first round of the 2013 draft and the signing team would lose its top draft pick.

If Upton were to accept, he would be signed with the Rays for 2013 at the $13.3 million, which is the average annual value of the top 125 contracts. Given that he is seeking a megadeal of $14 million to $16 million a year over four to six years, it's unlikely he would accept that offer.

Upton's agent, Larry Reynolds, said they would use the next week to get a sense of what the possibilities are.

"You can't assume anything; the goal when you get to free agency is to see what the market tells you,'' he said. "We would hope there's something strong. We have to wait and see what happens in the next week.''

The signing window opened at 12:01 this morning and the Rays allowed all six of their free agents to hit the open market: relievers Kyle Farnsworth, J.P. Howell and Joel Peralta; infielders Jeff Keppinger and Carlos Pena, and Upton.

The Rays are looking at an extensive overhaul of their lineup, seeking to fill up to five spots, with only Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Desmond Jennings and likely Matt Joyce set for regular duty.

Executive vice president Andrew Friedman said they have "expressed interest in a lot of guys" but were unlikely to make any immediate signings, preferring, as they often do, to let the market play out while also exploring trade scenarios.

In other Rays news:

• Catcher Robinson Chirinos (concussion) and outfielder Brandon Guyer (shoulder surgery) were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list to the 40-man roster. Left-hander Frank De Los Santos, a combined 7-2, 2.11 in 51 games between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, was added.

• Manager Joe Maddon will host his Thanksmas event, cooking and serving meals to the needy, for a seventh straight year, in Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa on Dec. 10-12.

Reported Ortiz deal: The Red Sox have agreed to terms with DH David Ortiz on a two-year deal worth $26 million, the Associated Press reported. Speaking at the Celtics' home opener against the Bucks on Friday night, Ortiz, 36, said, "We haven't finished it up yet. It's coming. It's coming."

Trade falls through? The Cubs told closer Carlos Marmol the proposed trade to send him to the Angels for pitcher Dan Haren has fallen apart, the Associated Press reported. The deal was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. No reason was given for why the deal fell through, though Marmol's contract gives him the right to submit a list of up to five teams he can't be traded to without his consent. Marmol, 30, had 114 saves for the Cubs over the past five years. Haren, 32, was a three-time All-Star (2007-09) but the right-hander went 12-13 with a career-worst 4.33 ERA in 30 starts this past season.

Orioles: Shortstop Ryan Adams has been suspended for the first 25 games of next season after testing positive for a banned amphetamine.

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