The Tampa Bay Rays may end up being hamstrung by the draft restrictions in the new collective bargaining agreement, but they're continuing to play their game when it comes to smart risk and roster management for the future.
And, wow, what a move. GM Andrew Friedman and Co. locked up promising pitcher Matt Moore to the tune of five years and a guaranteed $14 million on Friday. The deal also includes club options that could make it worth as much as eight years and $37.5 million. According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the deal is the biggest guaranteed contract ever awarded to a pitcher with less than one year of service time.
Moore is far from a household name, and for good reason: The 22-year-old lefthander pitched only 9 1/3 regular season innings for the Rays last season. But he did stage a big coming-out party in ALDS Game 1 against the Texas Rangers, flashing the exact type of potential — two hits over seven scoreless innings — that the Rays are gambling on here.
It really is an edu...