I was away from the computer most of the day and missed this, which is just an incredible deal for the Rays. Shields gets only four years and $11.25 million guaranteed, but the Rays have three options after that, which would bring the contract to $38 million. In addition, he could get up to $6 million more in performance bonuses, bringing the total to $44 million.
This is just brilliant move for the Rays, who get a very good pitcher for four years and have to pay less for the privilege than the Phillies are paying for Geoff Jenkins. In addition, they can keep Shields in Tampa for up to two extra years beyond the time when he would've been eligible for free agency, all for what should be very reasonable salaries. There's so little risk involved in this contract for the Rays, it's kind of shocking. And meanwhile, they should be able to keep a 26-year-old starter with a 5:1 K:BB ratio in Tampa until after his age 32 season.
If Ian Snell or Tom Gorzelanny would be open to signing a contract like this, I'd be all for it.