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Friday, December 9, 2011
Matt Moore extension: Rays strike again

By David Schoenfield

The Tampa Bay Rays have done it again.

Already owners of the most team-friendly contract in the game -- Evan Longoria's nine-year contract that runs through 2016 at the below-bargain basement sum of $42 million for the next five seasons -- Jerry Crasnick is reporting the Rays have agreed with rookie left-hander Matt Moore on an eight-year deal.

While pitchers are more risky than position players, if Moore reaches his potential and stays healthy, the deal has a chance to be ranked alongside Longoria's as the best in the game for a club. Longoria is arguably the most valuable asset in the game -- a star player who won't reach double-digit millions in salary until 2015 (when he makes $11 million).

For Moore, he gets lifetime financial security despite having pitched just 19 innings in the major leagues. If he blows out his elbow and never pitches again, he's still set. And if he becomes a superstar? Well, he'll be a free agent in eight years.

How good is he? As teammate David Price just tweeted, on a scale of 1 to 10, Moore's stuff is a "12."

The Rays also have James Shields signed through 2014 (including team options of $9 million in 2013 and $12 million in 2014). Ben Zobrist will make $4.6 million in 2012. Price will make $2.4 million.

This is how you compete with the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Rangers.

Well done, Tampa.