Rays Rolling vs. Baseball Lines, Sign Zobrist

The Tampa Bay Rays continue to roll vs. the baseball lines this season and now they have locked up one of their best players for the next five years.

The Rays signed Ben Zobrist to a long-term deal that could keep him with the team through 2015. Zobrist is one of the best players on one of the best teams vs. the baseball odds this year.

Baseball lines have favored Tampa Bay many times this season and for good reason. The Rays are now the second best team in the American League East behind the New York Yankees. The Rays have a very talented young team and Zobrist is one of their young stars.  The Rays signed him to a very good deal that keeps their payroll somewhat under control. The first three years of Zobrist’s deal are guaranteed with the team holding options for 2014 and 2015. "The Rays gave me my first chance to be in the big leagues. ... There's no better clubhouse atmosphere," said Zobrist, "This is definitely where I want to be." Zobrist was a bargain this season as he was making $438,100.  Last year he was an All-Star as he batted .297 with 27 homers and 91 RBIs

Zobrist is a player who can play all over the field for Tampa Bay and impact baseball odds and it really doesn’t matter where he plays. He has been successful everywhere.  He has played second base and right field this year. "As a strong defender both in the infield and outfield, his versatility is nearly unmatched, and his approach at the plate has made him one of the best switch-hitters in baseball," Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "He works hard, plays the game right, and is exactly the kind of player and person we want as part of this organization."

The Zobrist deal could be worth $30 million when all is said and done. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2014 with a $2.5 million buyout and a $7.5 million option for 2015.  The deal could be a good one for both sides. Zobrist will be getting a lot of money and the Rays will be keeping one of their best players on the team for a reasonable cost. There is a risk for the Rays but after last season it appears that Zobrist is a player they need in the lineup on an everyday basis.  Zobrist, Evan Longoria and James Shields are now signed for multiple seasons and that puts them in a competitive situation this season in baseball lines and in future seasons.