Baez gets $6.5M from Devil Rays

Updated: January 6, 2004, 3:55 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Closer Danys Baez finalized his $6.5 million, two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Tuesday.

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 million.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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