Rays Pick Up Options On Shields, Molina and Rodney

The Tampa Bay Rays have picked up the options on pitcher James Shields, catcher Jose Molina and closer Fernando Rodney.

During the past two seasons Shields has thrown 477 innings with a 3.15 ERA and 448/123 K/BB ratio. He’s under team control through 2014 with an option available to the Rays for $12 million in 2014.

Shields is 31 years old and the longest tenured pitcher on Joe Maddon’s staff. Recently, the Dodgers have said publicly that they’ll make an attempt to acquire the Rays’ ace, but it would come at a hefty price. Tampa Bay is unlikely to deal Shields without getting several good players in return and it remains to be seen what the Dodgers would be willing to part with.

Fernando Rodney set a new personal best and a club record posting 48 saves with a 0.60 ERA (an MLB record for areliever). In 2012 Rodney made his first All-Star appearance, was named Comeback Player of the Year and was also given Major League Baseball’s Delivery Man of the Year honors.

Jose Molina hit just .223 but set career highs with 8 HR and 32 RBI in 2012. He has handled the Rays starters well and is third among active players in throw out percentage.

The Rays declined the option on Luke Scott. The 34 year old DH hit .229 (14 HR, 55 RBI) in his first year with the Rays. Scott also missed 45 games, going on the disabled with back pain and an oblique strain.

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