Rays Busy On-Field And Off In Successful Opening Week
The baseball season is a marathon but it is comprised of a series of 162 sprints. The first week of baseball is already in the books and the Tampa Bay Rays were successful both on the field and off.
On the field the team posted a winning record of 4-3 by splitting a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays and taking two out of three from the Texas Rangers.
Off the field they were able to lock up the talented Chris Archer for up to eight years and extended Yunel Escobar through the 2016 season with a club option for 2017.
The Rays will embark on their first road trip of 2014. The will play nine-games in 10-days starting in Kansas City for a three games before their first off-day of the season on Thursday. Over the weekend they will be in Cincinnati taking on the Reds. The trip concludes with a three game trip in Baltimore against the Orioles before returning home to take on the New York Yankees.
The pitching matchups for the Royals series – Matt Moore  (0-1, 3.28 ERA) vs Jason Vargas  (0-0, 1.29 ERA), Chris Archer  (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs Yordano Ventura  (No Record), and Jake Odorizzi  (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs Jeremy Guthrie  (1-0, 3.65 ERA).
Archer’s deal is for six years worth $25.5M and includes two club options for approximately $9M and $11M. In total the contract could keep Archer in a Rays uniform through 2021.
The Rays already held a club option on Yunel Escobar for 2015 for $5M but on Saturday afternoon the club announced that they had extended his contract.
The total value of the deal is 2-yrs/$13M.The 2015 option for $5M was guaranteed, he will be paid $7M in 2016, and the club holds a 2017 option worth $7M with a $1M club buyout.
The Rays were two for two in getting challenges overturned. On Friday evening they challenged a trap call which was overturned (VIDEO ) to an out and on Saturday a Rangers runner was called safe on a bang bang play that was overturned (VIDEO ) upon review.
Jeremy Hellickson  (elbow) has had no setback and continues his throwing program.
Juan Carlos Oviedo  (elbow) has began his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Durham Bulls and is expected to rejoin the Rays sometime in mid-April.
Tim Beckham  (knee -ACL) is in the early stages in what will be a season long rehabilitation.
The Weeks Game Highlights:
Opening Day Success – Monday, March 31, 2014: Rays Defeat Blue Jays 9-2
Tuesday, April 1, 2014: Rays Fall To Jays 4-2
Wednesday, April 2, 2014: Rays Fall To Jays 3-0
Thursday, April 3, 2014: Rays Split Series With 7-2 Victory
Friday, April 4, 2014: Rays Blast Rangers 8-1
Saturday April 5, 2014: Rays Rally Late To Defeat Rangers 5-4
Sunday, Arpil 6, 2014: Yu Darvish  Shuts Rays Down – Rangers Defeat Rays 3-0