Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays retain DeJesus, working on extension

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays not only decided Sunday to pick up outfielder David DeJesus' $6.5 million option for next season but they are set to complete a multiyear deal that can run through 2016.

DeJesus, 33, hit .260 with a .328 on-base percentage in 35 games this year after being acquired in late August from Washington for minor-leaguer Matthew Spann, and he can hit leadoff and play all three outfield spots.

The $6.5 million salary will make him among the team's highest-paid players in 2014. The Rays could have paid a $1.5 million buyout and let him go. The new deal covers 2014-15, with a team option for 2016. Total terms were not available.

"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, a left-handed hitter, had two highlight moments: a walkoff single to end the Sept. 20 18-inning marathon against the Orioles and making the postseason for the first time in his 11-year career.

The Rays have until tonight to decide on a $2 million option or a $30,000 buyout for reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo, who spent 2013 recovering from Tommy John ligament-reconstruction surgery.

Also, rightfielder Wil Myers and pitcher Chris Archer are finalists for the Players Choice American League Outstanding Rookie Award. The winner will be announced at 8 tonight on MLB Network.

TIGERS TAB AUSMUS: The Tigers hired former catcher Brad Ausmus to replace Jim Leyland as manager of the three-time defending AL Central champions. Ausmus, 44, has little managerial experience. "I'm well aware that you don't generally get dropped into a situation like I will be this coming season," he said. "I understand I'm very fortunate. That being said, I'm not taking anything for granted."

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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