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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.

Rays retain DeJesus, working on extension 11/03/13 [Last modified: Monday, November 4, 2013 12:19am]
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