Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays pick up options on Zobrist, Escobar

The Rays on Saturday made official the obvious decisions to keep their middle infield intact by picking up options on second baseman Ben Zobrist, right, and shortstop Yunel Escobar, left.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

The Rays on Saturday made official the obvious decisions to keep their middle infield intact by picking up options on second baseman Ben Zobrist, right, and shortstop Yunel Escobar, left.

ST. PETERSBURG — Amid potentially significant changes to their roster for 2014, the Rays on Saturday made official the obvious decisions to keep their middle infield intact, picking up options on second baseman Ben Zobrist and shortstop Yunel Escobar.

Zobrist, one of their most valuable and versatile players, will make $7 million in 2014 (there was a $2.5 million buyout), and the Rays also hold a 2015 option for $7.5 million as part of a six-year deal signed in April 2010.

"It is a huge blessing to be a part of a great organization," Zobrist tweeted. "Hopefully we can stay for many years to come!"

Escobar, a solid all-around performer after being acquired in a December trade, will make $5 million in 2014, same as last season. The Rays hold another $5 million option for 2015.

Zobrist, 32, was named to his second AL All-Star team this past season, hit .275 with 12 homers and 71 RBIs, and led the AL with a .993 fielding percentage at second. Escobar, who turned 31 Saturday, hit .256 with nine homers and 56 RBIs and led all big-league shortstops with a .989 fielding percentage.

In 117 games as double play partners, they made only 11 errors, matching Cal and Billy Ripken of the 1990 Orioles and Mark Loretta and Alex Gonzalez of the 2006 Red Sox for the fewest ever by an AL duo (with both players qualifying for the fielding title).

The Rays have to decide by Sunday night whether to pick up a $6.5 million option on outfielder David DeJesus or pay a $1.5 million buyout; and on Monday on a $2 million option for right-hander Juan Carlos Oviedo or a $30,000 buyout.

Rays signed for 2014

3B Evan Longoria$7.5 million

2B Ben Zobrist $7 million

SS Yunel Escobar $5 million

RHP Joel Peralta $3 million

LHP Matt Moore $1.1 million

Rays pick up options on Zobrist, Escobar 11/02/13 [Last modified: Saturday, November 2, 2013 7:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. If Tony Dungy sticks around, he'll broadcast the 2021 Tampa Super Bowl for NBC

    Bucs

    Lost in the Super Tuesday news of the Super Bowl coming back to Tampa was this nugget:

    Pictured, from left, Dan Patrick, co-Host, Tony Dungy, studio analyst, Aaron Rodgers. [Ben Cohen/NBC]
  2. Tragedy, tenacity helped shape Ridgewood valedictorian Johannah Cummines

    Volleyball Preps

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Even if her daily routine didn't permit calories to melt off, Johannah Cummines would deserve to pick anything on the menu.

    Ridgewood High senior Johannah Cummines and mom Chenell. Cummines is headed to Florida Atlantic, where she will play beach volleyball. (Photo courtesy of Johannah Cummines)
  3. Bucs Roberto Aguayo kicks off 2017 on the wrong foot

    Blogs

    The goal posts still seem to be moving for Roberto Aguayo.

    The Bucs woebegone place-kicker, who is in a battle with veteran Nick Folk, went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights, the first day of full squad Organized Team Activities.

    If that weren’t …

    Roberto Aguayo went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights.
  4. Rays morning after: Are cold bats a sign of things to come?

    Blogs

    How does an offense that has ranked among the most productive in the league for seven weeks go so cold?

    Steven Souza Jr. extended his weeks-long skid to 8-for-67.
  5. Calvary Christian takes strong lineup, defense to state baseball tournament

    Baseballpreps

    CLEARWATER — No matter what happens in Friday's Class 4A state semifinal against Delray Beach American Heritage, Calvary Christian has already had a historic season. The unbeaten Warriors have won 28 games and qualified for the school's first state baseball tournament.

    The addition of Nolan Hudi to the rotation made a difference, said Calvary Christian coach Greg Olsen. “It was huge.”