Pending a trade, James Shields will be back in a Rays uniform next season. The Rays elected to pick up Shields’ 10.25 million dollar option to bring the right-hander back for the 2013 season. The 10.25 million dollar figure represents the highest single-season salary in Rays history, surpassing Carl Crawford‘s 10 million dollar salary from 2010, but it was a no-brainer to pick up as Shields, who will turn 31 in December, delivered another great season in 2012, going 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA, an 8.8 K/9, a 2.3 BB/9, and a 1.0 HR/9 in 33 starts and 227.2 IP, and he finished the season on an incredible run, going 7-3 with a 1.99 ERA, an 8.9 K/9, a 1.4 BB/9, and a 0.8 HR/9 in his final 12 starts. Whether Shields remains on the team for 2013, we know that the Rays will receive value either from his performance or from the players he yields in a trade. Nice to see the Rays willing to chip in more money than the normally would to keep Shields for right now, and we’ll have to see what happens with him this offseason.
Major League Baseball will announce the Gold Glove winners tonight at 9:30 PM, but yesterday they announced the finalists and two Rays were among the group: Jeremy Hellickson for the AL Gold Glove for the pitcher position and Desmond Jennings at left field. Hellickson made just 2 errors all season, picking off one batter and allowing just 7 stolen bases all season, while Jennings made no errors, had 4 outfield assists, and his UZR was an incredible 10.7. Both are great candidates and good luck to them in the voting.
And finally, Las Vegas’ World Series odds have been released, with the Tigers and Yankees the favorites at 6-1 and 7-1 respectively. The Rays rank 12th in baseball at 20-1 odds. But with the Rays’ pitching, if they can make it to the postseason, they always have a chance, and hopefully Evan Longoria and the bats will stay healthy to make that type of run possible.