By C. Trent Rosecrans
One of the big parts of the success of the Rays has been finding out which players they want to keep for their core and locking them up early. The latest is 25-year-old right-hander Wade Davis.
The Rays have signed him to a seven-year deal, guaranteed for $12.6 million for the first four years. The Rays then have options for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons, with a maximum value of approximately $35.1 million.
"Wade is the type of player and person we want to build around," GM Andrew Friedman said in a statement released by the team. "His work ethic and makeup are extraordinary and he has demonstrated great poise as one of the top rookies in the American League last season. We are excited by the opportunity to watch him continue to grow as an important part of our starting rotation."
Davis was 12-10 with a 4.07 ERA in 29 starts as a rookie in 2010.
With the deal, the team has options for two of Davis' free agent years and cost certainty for his arbitration years. It's risky to sign this young of a player for a four-year deal, but the Rays gambled with a rookie Longoria in 2008 and that paid off handsomely, as one of the best players in the game is locked up in Tampa Bay through the 2016 season.
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