Andrew Friedman simply does not mess around. According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the Rays are poised to ink studly starter Matt Moore to a five-year, $14 million dollar deal. With club options and the like, the deal could grow as big as eight years and $37.5 million. Wow.
This, as Jonah Keri notes, is the Evan Longoria contract for the guy the Rays hope becomes the pitching equivalent of the Rays best player. The Rays get all of Moore’s arbitration years plus two years of his free agency for a very, very team-friendly price.
Did Moore give it up too easy? If he’s this good, he could easily earn $14 million dollars in one of his arbitration years, ala Tim Lincecum. Why would he trade in these potential earnings so easily?
Oh, right. That. The Rays offered a pitcher with basically no big league experience fourteen million dollars. Guaranteed. That is the kind of insurance policy you can’t get at Lloyd’s of London.
The Rays make another deft move and a player hits free agency during his prime with a tidy savings already in his pocket. That isn’t a bad deal when you consider the rate at which pitchers crap out due to injury or just not being good enough.
The player gets paid and the team gets lean. It’s the Tampa Bay Way. Extra 2%, indeed.