— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 5, 2014
As we discussed when we first reported the news, the Yunel Escobar extension shows further commitment on the Rays’ part to keep their core group of players together. Escobar gives the Rays an excellent defensive shortstop and also a solid hitter–something the Rays rarely had at the position from 2010 until Escobar came along last season. Getting him for just $13 million guaranteed for the next two years made any deal a no-brainer. It seemed crazy enough to have Escobar signed for only $5 million each in 2014 and 2015, but now, by sweetening the pie with only a few more million per year, the Rays have added a potential two more years of team control. Escobar wanted to be in Tampa Bay, and he and the team came to an arrangement that will make that possible with only a negligible additional impact on payroll. It does not get more exciting than this.
Update (5:35 PM): Roger Mooney tweets that Escobar gets the same $5 million in 2014, $7 million in 2015, and then a $7 million option in 2015 with a $1 million buyout. Even though $7 million is a touch more expensive, it is still a very good value for a player of Escobar’s talent.