MLB Breaking News: Tampa Bay Rays Lock Up Pitcher Wade Davis To 7 Year Deal

Daniel LewigCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 10:  Pitcher Wade Davis #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws against the Texas Rangers in the first inning during game 4 of the ALDS at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 10, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On the day before their 2011 season started, the Tampa Bay Rays assured Wade Davis he would be around for many more opening days to come. 

Seven more, in fact. 

The Tampa Bay Rays decided to lock up one of their young arms to a long-term deal, worth potentially $35.1 million over seven seasons.

I couldn't be happier. And, come to think of it, Davis has over 35 million reasons to be happy as well.

Each year, the Rays seem to target at least one of their players to lock in to a long-term deal. 

The Rays are enjoying the benefits of the deal they gave Evan Longoria. Less than a month into the start of his pro career, Longoria already had a seven-year contract. 

James Shields also got a long-term deal. Ben Zobrist signed a four-year extension about this time last year.

In Davis' deal, only four years and $12.1 million is guaranteed. So for the Rays, this really is a a huge win. 

Even if Davis never progresses beyond league average, he's still underpaid. $12 million is very little liability when it comes to the price of pitching, even for the limited financial resources of the Rays.

It'll be interesting to see who the Rays next target is. Jeremy Hellickson, I think Andrew Friedman would like to see you in his office.