Shields gets four-year, $11.25M contract from Rays

Updated: January 23, 2008, 4:32 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays are counting on James Shields to blossom into one of the top pitchers in the American League.

The 26-year-old right-hander, who has less than two full seasons of experience in the majors, agreed Wednesday to a $11.25 million, four-year contract.

Shields' deal includes three team options that could make it worth about $38 million over seven years. Performance bonuses could boost the value to approximately $44 million.

"This ...

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