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Third baseman Evan Longoria would welcome long-term extension to be Tampa Bay Ray for life

ST. PETERSBURG — Okay, so not all the news is bad for the Rays this week.

All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria said Friday that he would like to stay with the Rays for his whole career and would be open to discussing a contract extension if and when the team is interested.

"Tampa Bay is the place I want to be for the rest of my career if I can," Longoria, 25, said. "If there's an opportunity to do something like that, I would think long and hard about it."

Longoria is signed through 2013, with the Rays holding options for 2014-16 on what are considered team-friendly terms, with a maximum salary of $14 million in 2016.

Though free agent prices are soaring, as evidenced by the $142 million that former teammate Carl Crawford got from the Red Sox, Longoria said he would be interested in an extension such as his friend Troy Tulo­witzki worked out to stay with the Rockies, albeit for $119 million covering six seasons.

Like several other Rays, Longoria said he was happy to see Crawford get paid but not eager to see him with the Red Sox: "I don't blame him for choosing Boston. But it's going to be tough seeing him on the other side of the field."

Also:

• The Rays had no update on the stalled trade of shortstop Jason Bartlett to the Padres, but the San Diego Union-Tribune reported the holdup has to do with the physical condition of one of the relievers supposed to be coming to Tampa Bay — Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos. According to the report, the Rays want a second opinion on the first physical, and though the problem is not believed to be serious, the deal may not go through as originally agreed upon.

• Crawford passed his physical in Boston and will be introduced as a Red Sox this morning.

Rangers boost offer to Lee; Yanks wait, too

NEW YORK — The Rangers and Yankees are awaiting a decision from 2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, who is evaluating offers made by both teams.

The Rangers met with Lee late Thursday in Arkansas and offered the left-handed starter multiple proposals to consider, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

CEO Chuck Greenberg would not detail the offers, but it's believed the Rangers don't want to go beyond six years. Greenberg said Texas could commit more than $20 million a year to Lee, 32.

The Yankees reportedly have offered $160 million over seven years. "For somebody of that stature, it would certainly behoove him to be a Yankee, which would probably be for the rest of his career," co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said.

Mariners: Former A's slugger and DH Jack Cust finalized a $2.5 million, one-year deal.

Orioles: The team reached agreement on a $1.5 million, one-year deal with shortstop Cesar Izturis, 29.

Red Sox: The team completed its one-year deal with catcher Jason Varitek, 38, who will get $2 million in base salary.

Santo funeral: Former Cubs player and broadcaster Ron Santo was remembered fondly, with friends and colleagues praising his unbridled optimism in the face of health problems and the failures of his team. "Joy was a virtue for Ron … joy was part of his life, every day and every season," Monsignor Daniel Mayall said at the funeral service at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Santo, 70, died Dec. 3 of complications from bladder cancer. His casket was carried past Wrigley Field, where the marquee read "Ronald Edward Santo 1940-2010."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Third baseman Evan Longoria would welcome long-term extension to be Tampa Bay Ray for life 12/10/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 10, 2010 11:49pm]
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