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Rays exercise options on James Shields, Fernando Rodney, Jose Molina

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
The Rays have opted to bring back right-hander James Shields, among others. (Getty Images)

The Rays have decided to exercise their team options on right-hander James Shields ($10.5 million), closer Fernando Rodney ($2.5 million) and catcher Jose Molina ($1.5 million). They've also declined their option on DH Luke Scott, instead choosing the $1-million buyout.

This past season, Shields posted an ERA of 3.52 in 227 2/3 innings and ranked fourth in the AL with 223 strikeouts. Rodney, meanwhile, turned in one of the great closer seasons of all-time: 74 2/3 IP, 0.60 ERA -- the lowest ERA ever for a pitcher with at least 50 IP. As for Molina, he didn't do much at the plate in 2012, but he remains one of the top defensive catchers in all of baseball. Scott's first season with Tampa Bay and eighth in the majors saw him fail to hit .230 for the second consecutive year.

It's also worth noting that Shields, in part because of Tampa Bay's impressive pitching depth, is rumored to be on the trading block.

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