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In what has to be a no-brainer move, the Tampa Bay Rays picked up Carl Crawford's option for 2009 that is worth $8.25 million. Crawford has become one of the most exciting players to watch in all of baseball over the past few years, and more importantly, one of the most consistent. He has improved his batting average every year for the last five years, hitting .315 last year. For anyone who is a Rays fan, this is definitely good news. They just need to get him locked up long term.
The Rays also decided to decline Rocco Baldelli's 2009 option, and bought out his contract for around 4 million dollars. With Rocco unable to play at all, this as a move that was necessary, however regrettable it might be. Baldelli's career is in jeopardy and doctors still are not really sure what is wrong with him.
One day after pitchig a perfect ninth inning on opening day in Baltimore, Dan Wheeler is also rewarded with a two year extension with Tampa Bay. One of the players brought in to help solidify a bullpen that was worse that horrible last year, Wheeler will play a large roll in the success of the pen for the Rays this year. This new deal is worth $10.5 million, and Wheeler is under the teams control through 2010, with a team option for 2011. (TampaBayRays.com)