Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Shoppach, Rays agree to deal
By Jerry Crasnick
Catcher Kelly Shoppach has agreed to a guaranteed two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays worth about $5.5 million.
The contract takes Shoppach through his final two years of salary arbitration, and includes a club option for his first year of free agency.
Shoppach, 29, is a .241 hitter in parts of five big league seasons with Boston and Cleveland. He hit .261 with 21 homers and 55 RBIs for the Indians in 2008, but dipped to .214 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs last season.
The Rays acquired Shoppach from Cleveland in December in a trade for pitcher Mitch Talbot. Shoppach is expected to share time at catcher with Dioner Navarro in Tampa Bay, although there has been speculation that the Rays might be interested in trading Navarro, who hit .218 in 115 games last season.
Veteran catcher Gregg Zaun, who hit .287 in 34 games with Tampa Bay last season, signed with Milwaukee as a free agent in early December.
Shoppach, a Baylor University product, was selected by Boston in the second round of the 2001 draft. The Red Sox sent him to Cleveland as part of the Coco Crisp trade in 2006.
Shoppach earned $1.95 million in 2009.
Jerry Crasnick covers baseball for ESPN.com.