Some certainty- Rays lock up Matt Moore for the next 5 years

By Robbie Knopf

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick’s reported that the Rays have signed top prospect Matt Moore to a 5 year contract with 14 million dollars with options that could make it 8 years and 37.5 million dollars. That contract is the largest contract ever hanged out to a player with less than two years of MLB service time.

Outstanding move by the Rays- Moore is the real deal. The 23 year old dominated as a starter during his stint in September and October, even stifling the eventual AL Champion Texas Rangers in ALDS Game 1. In 2011, Moore went 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA, an incredible 210 strikeouts (12.2 K/9), 46 walks (2.7 BB/9), and 11 home runs allowed (0.6 HR/9), amounting to an ridiculous 2.42 FIP, in 27 starts and 155 innings pitched between Double-A and Triple-A. And Moore was nearly as good after being called up to the big leagues. He didn’t allow a single earned run in his two starts and he posted a 1.86 ERA overall between the regular season and the postseason while striking out 23 (10.7 K/9), walking just 6 (2.8 BB/9), and allowing two home runs (0.9 HR/9) in 5 appearances, 2 of which were starts, and 19.1 IP. Major league hitters could not figure out Moore. Moore is ready to take baseball by storm. And for him to be dominating baseball while being paid just 2.8 million dollars per season over the next five years will be an incredible bargain for the Rays. This was a genius move by Friedman and company. The Rays have themselves a pitcher who will soon be among baseball’s best for at least the next five years at a reasonable rate. Moore will undoubtedly be worth every single penny.

For Moore himself, he deserves to congratulated on the contract and the big league rotation spot that it all but guarantees. It’s going to be his time in 2012, and you know that he’s going to take advantage.