Rays, reliever Percival sign multi-year deal with incentives

Updated: November 30, 2007, 1:02 PM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

Troy Percival got to know Joe Maddon when he pitched for the Angels and Maddon was a coach for the same team.

Percival and Maddon will now be reunited in Tampa Bay next season. Percival has signed to a two-year, $8 million contract with the Rays.

The deal also includes incentives for Percival that are based on appearances and games finished. The incentives could earn Percival another $4 million.

Percival, 38, retired after pitching in 26 games for Detroit in 2006. But he came back to pitch for St. Louis last year and threw well, compiling a 1.80 ERA in 40 innings over 34 games.

Percival has a long history as a closer, with 324 career saves, but he probably will fill a variety of roles for Tampa Bay, which has retained closer Al Reyes. The Rays also will probably value Percival for his old-school approach, something that could be a help with such a young team as Tampa Bay.

Milwaukee, the Yankees and the Giants are among the teams that expressed interest in Percival.

Percival came up with the Angels and pitched there from 1995-2004, being selected to four All-Star Games.

Buster Olney is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine

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