Rays sign Tyler Glasnow to extension through 2024 season, with a $25M salary

The right-hander is in the final stages of recovery from August 2021 Tommy John surgery, with a late-season return possible.
The Rays have signed right-hander Tyler Glasnow to a contract extension that will keep him with the Rays through the 2024 season at a team-record $25 million salary.
The Rays have signed right-hander Tyler Glasnow to a contract extension that will keep him with the Rays through the 2024 season at a team-record $25 million salary. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Aug. 26, 2022|Updated Aug. 27, 2022

BOSTON — The Rays and Tyler Glasnow have had a mutual affection for each other and on-and-off talks over several years about extending their relationship.

Friday, they did. The Rays signed the right-hander to a contract extension that puts him under their control through the 2024 season and pays him a $25 million salary, which matches a team record.

“I’m exactly where I want to be,” Glasnow said.

Glasnow, in the final stages of recovering from August 2021 Tommy John elbow surgery, would have been a free agent following the 2023 season.

Under the new deal, he will make $5.35 million next year, roughly what he was due in his final season of arbitration eligibility, then get the big raise, matching the salaries due Wander Franco in the 2028-32 seasons of his 11-year, $182-million deal. Glasnow’s $25 million salary and the annual average value of $15.175 million are the largest the Rays have given a pitcher, surpassing the $15 million salaries Charlie Morton got in 2019-2020.

Glasnow made $5.1 million this season as he continued his rehab, having looked very good so far, with the potential to return in late September based on how he feels after advancing to rehab games, which he could start as soon as next weekend.

“As far as why we wanted to do this, the talent is undeniable,” Rays baseball operations president Erik Neander said. “I think we saw Tyler reach a lot of his potential in 2021 before going down with the elbow injury. He was pitching with a failing ligament through the last few years and you saw what he was capable of doing with that.

“To see where he is now, to see all the work he’s put in, (we) really believe that Cy Young-caliber pitcher that we saw in 2021 has another gear to him that we’re hopeful of seeing over the next couple of years here.”

Neander said there was also more to it.

“As much as the talent, there’s the person — Tyler’s a Ray. He’s fit in well here, he’s everything that we value in a person and a competitor, the right mix of freakish athleticism and freakish goofiness and craziness and likes to have a good time and so on,” he said. “So just a real delight to be around, the kind of people we appreciate having in our clubhouse.”

Glasnow, 29, has not pitched in a game since June 14, 2021, and underwent Tommy John surgery, along with the installation of a brace. Despite the injury, the Rays have fielded trade inquiries and could have faced a difficult decision at the 2023 deadline regarding whether to deal him then or keep him for the full season and risk getting nothing but draft pick compensation in return. He was acquired in July 2018 from the Pirates, with Austin Meadows and Shane Baz, for Chris Archer.

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While the deal doesn’t guarantee Glasnow stays through 2024, it creates peace of mind and allows him to focus on pitching. “I kind of already do, but now I just have a little bit more money, I guess,” he said.

Glasnow said the opportunity to stay where he feels comfortable, at least for an extra year, was key.

“This is such an awesome opportunity and a place I really want to be,” Glasnow said. “It’s always been kind of like, ‘I don’t want to leave yet. Like, I’m not ready to go.’ I think, too, if I were to go, I think I would have some like PTSD and maybe root for them if I was playing against them or something. So it didn’t feel like it was time yet for me.”

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