Originally written on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 10/22/14
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Rays exercised contract options Wednesday on pitcher James Shields, closer Fernando Rodney and catcher Jose Molina. The team also declined its 6 million option on designated hitter Luke Scott, instead paying him a 1 million buyout. Shields, who was 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA last season, gets a 9.5 million salary next year rather than a 1.5 million buyout. The 30-year-old right-hander ranked third in the American League in innings (227 2-3), fourth in strikeouts (223) and 12th in ERA. He has pitched 200 or more innings in six consecutive seasons. Tampa Bay has a 12 million option on Shields for 2014 with a 1 million buyout Rodney, the AL comeback player of the year, set a club record with a career-best 48 saves in his first season with the Rays. The 35-year-old right-hander had a 0.60 ERA, a big league record for a reliever with at least 50 innings pitched. Tampa Bay picked up his 2.5 million option rather than pay him a 250,000 buyout. Mol...
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