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Rays infield foursome finalists for Gold Gloves

ST. LOUIS — Manager Joe Maddon suggested at various junctures this past season that each of the Rays infielders was playing well enough to win a Gold Glove.

He might have been right, as all four — 1B James Loney, 2B Ben Zobrist, SS Yunel Escobar and 3B Evan Longoria — on Friday were each named one of three finalists at their position. The winners will be announced Tuesday (8 p.m., ESPN2).

No team has ever had four infielders win in the same season. Eight have had three, most recently the 2010 Yankees, with Mark Teixeira (first base), Robinson Cano (second) and Derek Jeter (shortstop).

The Gold Gloves are typically voted on by managers and coaches in each league, but this year, for the first time in the 57-year history of the awards, a sabermetric component, called the SABR Defensive Index, was added. It accounted for about 25 percent of the selection process.

"As a group, our infielders were as good a group defensively as we've ever had," Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "We care a lot about our defense, and those four guys were a huge part of our success this year. It's great to see them recognized nationally for their work."

Of the Rays candidates, only Longoria has won before, twice.

Lincecum finalizes deal to remain a Giant

SAN FRANCISCO — Tim Lincecum wants nothing more than to return to his old dominant self in the place where he has been at his best before.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner finalized his $35 million, two-year contract with the Giants after passing a physical.

Now, he is ready to get to work and build toward a comeback season in 2014. He will begin his offseason workout routine in earnest with a training appointment Monday in the Seattle area.

"It gives you that freedom that I've done it with this group before. I feel like we can do it again, and personally I feel like I can succeed there again," Lincecum said.

The Giants signed Lincecum, who pitched a no-hitter July 13 at San Diego, before he went on the free-agent market. The new contract, which includes a full no-trade clause, pays $17 million for next year and $18 million in 2015.

Nationals manager: The Nationals will hire Matt Williams, 47, to replace retired manager Davey Johnson, the Washington Post and other media outlets reported. Williams, whose only managerial experience is a stint in the Arizona Fall League last season, was on the Diamondbacks staff for four years. Rays bench coach Dave Martinez was among those who interviewed for the job.

Cubs manager: The team has expressed interest in former Mariners manager Eric Wedge, the MLB Network reported. Wedge, 45, left the Mariners after three seasons and a 213-273 record. Other candidates include A.J Hinch, Manny Acta, Rick Renteria and the Rays' Martinez.

. Fast facts

Gold Glove finalists

The three-man field at each of the infield positions:

1B: James Loney (Rays, .995 fielding percentage, seven errors); Chris Davis (Orioles, .996, 6); Eric Hosmer (Royals, .994, 8)

2B: Ben Zobrist (Rays, .993, 4); Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox, .993, 5); Robinson Cano (Yankees, .991, 6)

SS: Yunel Escobar (Rays, .989, 7); J.J. Hardy (Orioles, .981, 12); Alcides Escobar (Royals, .979, 13)

3B: Evan Longoria (Rays, .972, 11); Manny Machado (Orioles, .973, 13); Adrian Beltre (Rangers, .959, 14)

Rays infield foursome finalists for Gold Gloves 10/25/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 25, 2013 9:42pm]
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