The former Cleveland Indians reliever went 2-9 with a 3.81 ERA
and 25 saves but lost his closer's job to rookie David Riske late
last season. He released last month in cost-saving move after
earning $4 million in 2003.
The right-hander will earn $1.5 million in 2004 and $3.5 million
in 2005, plus a $500,000 signing bonus and an opportunity to make
$250,000 bonuses each season. The Devil Rays have a $4 million
option for 2006 with a $1 million buyout.
Baez will take over Tampa Bay's closer's job from Lance Carter,
an All-Star last season who will move into a setup role.
Baez signed a $14.5 million, four-year contract with the Indians
after defecting from Cuba in 1999. He became a free agent when
Cleveland didn't offer a 2004 contract by Dec. 20.
In November, the Indians declined their $5 million option on
Baez. The team sent him outright to Triple-A Buffalo, then
purchased his contract and offered him a two-year proposal worth $4