Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Rays announced a historic long-term deal with their rookie-of-the-year candidate, Evan Longoria. If all the options are picked up and bonuses earned, the Dirtbag from Long Beach State will earn $44.5MM over the next 9 years.
Some have noted that the Rays are following the blueprint of the Indians from the 90s, by locking up their young talent long-term. However, this move is unprecedented for a player so early in his career, as last night marked only his 7th game as a major leaguer.
Buster Olney notes that this deal is not surprising as teams are even starting to consider giving star college players 10-year deals when they are drafted. While there is certainly risk with the deal, historically the risk is minimal for top position prospects. Fred Claire notes that long-term deals are now the norm, but that these deals are being reserved for players with impeccable character traits.
Lets take a look at what is being written about this contract in the Blogosphere…
- skyking162 looks at the math behind the Longoria deal in a two part series. In Part 1, they calculate how much money the Rays are saving. They note that the Rays are paying Longoria during his arbitration years as if he would be worth $9MM on the free agent market. In Part 2, they calculate the addition of the option years and note that the upside far outweighs any downside.
- Outs Per Swing notes that signing Longoria before he becomes a star will help the Rays avoid making the same mistake the Marlins made with Miguel Cabrera.
- DRG of Rays Index takes exception to writers that now say sending Longoria to the minors had nothing to do with delaying his free agency clock. DRG notes that keeping Longoria in the minors for two weeks meant the Rays only had to buy out two free agency years instead of three, thus saving the team money. He also refers to reports of players being upset about the deal. He says they should talk to Rocco Baldelli and ask him if he thinks it is a good idea to leave money on the table for a little security up front.
- Her Rays needs help deciding on the white Longoria jersey or the grey.
- Baseball Musings is surprised by the move but notes that this is just another reason to like the future of the Rays.
- Babes Love Baseball thinks the Rays bought the car without so much as a test drive.
- Fanhouse notes that the Rays are doing a great job of locking up their young talent and while Longoria may be underpaid the first six years of the deal, he will make up for it in the option years and beyond.