Rice, Jeffrey Springs left-hander to 4 years, $31 million extension

St. PETERSBURG, FL – Left handed Jeffrey Springs He became the first of 33 players to trade proposed arbitration salaries with their teams for a deal, agreeing Wednesday to a $31 million, four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old Springs was among seven Rays to trade refereeing numbers with the team on January 13. He started last season in the bullpen, moved to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 games, including 25 starts. He’s 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 76 outings – 51 of them in relief – since being acquired from Boston in February 2021.

Rays president of baseball operations Eric Neander said the two sides had been working toward an agreement for weeks and that Springs — which was drafted in the 30th round by the Texas Rangers in 2015 — has earned the opportunity to be a big part of Tampa Bay’s future.

“Jeffrey’s journey in baseball is a story of constant evolution and improvement. It’s a whole story,” said Neander, noting that Springs was not drafted high and spent time with several organizations before landing with the Rays and becoming an important component of the team. Success.

“One of the main reasons we’re here at this point is because we see him continue to do that going forward,” said Neander. “For the opportunity, he’s got that and we’re really excited because we’re going to keep him here longer than we otherwise would have.”

Springs, who is a 19-10 with a 3.57 ERA over parts of five seasons with the Rangers, Red Sox and Rays, gets $4 million this year, $5.25 million in 2024 and $10.5 million in each of the next two seasons. Tampa Bay has a $15 million option for 2027 with a $750,000 buyout.

2025 and 2026 salaries could rise by up to $3.75 million each based on roles in 2023-24 combined: $1.5 million for the 300, $1 million for the 325, $750,000 for the 350 and $500,000 for the 375. So could escalate. Salaries for ’25 and ’26 based on finishing in Cy Young Award voting in ’23 and ’24: $2 million for winning, $1.5 million for finishing second to fifth and $250,000 for finishing sixth to tenth.

“Honestly, I don’t even know if he’s fully sunk in yet,” Springs said. “Tons of emotions, to be honest, thinking of Eric and hearing him talk about the journey. It’s something that kind of helped shape me into the person and player I am today, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.”

Tampa Bay’s option price could go up based on Cy Young’s vote in 2025 and 2026: $2.5 million for winning, $2 million for finishing second through fifth and $500,000 for sixth through tenth.

Spring will receive $45.25 million if option exercised, $52.75 million with option and achievement of all innings goals, the maximum if he meets innings goals and wins two Cy Young Awards.

Springs’ last season was the second-lowest in franchise history for a pitcher to work at least 100 innings pitched. Ex-Raise Ace Blake Snell He compiled a 1.89 ERA on his way to winning the 2018 AL Cy Young Award.

In addition to finishing sixth in the AL in the ERA, Springs has allowed three or fewer runs in 22 of 25 starts and two or fewer runs in 17 times. He joined the Tampa Bay rotation on May 9, gradually increasing his workload over the next six appearances. Springs were 6-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts after the All-Star break.

The arbitration hearings begin next week and the Rays still have the most players scheduled to appear before the three-person panels.

Springs had asked for an increase from $947,500 to $3.55 million and was offered $2.7 million. Tampa Bay is still scheduled for hearings with the right hand Jason AdamAnd Fairbanks House And Ryan Thompsonleft hand Colin Butcha third baseman Yandy Diaz And a defensive player Harold Ramirez.

Tampa Bay also agreed to minor league connections to catcher Gavin Collins and right fielder Jaime Schultz, who will report to major league spring training.

Player Austin Shenton and pitchers Anthony Molina and Joe LaSorsa have also been invited to big league spring training.

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