Rays exercise option to keep Zobrist

The Rays announced Friday they have picked up the $7.5 million club option on utility man Ben Zobrist‘s contract for 2015.

This year, Zobrist will become the first player in club history to play 10 seasons with the Rays. He is the franchise career leader in doubles (229) and walks (542) and is second to Carl Crawford in games played (1,064), hits (1,016), runs scored (565) and triples (32).

“Ben has been integral to the success that the Rays have enjoyed throughout his career here,” Rays VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom said in a statement. “His skill and versatility on the field, combined with his character and selflessness, make him the ultimate team player. We are excited to continue forward with him.”

Zobrist’s current deal was finalized in 2010. He hit .272 with 10 home runs, 52 RBIs, 34 doubles, 10 stolen bases, 83 runs, 75 walks and a .354 on-base percentage in 146 games this year, and was selected by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the BBWAA as the Don Zimmer Most Valuable Player.
Zobrist will join teammates Evan Longoria and Jeff Beliveau in Japan this month for a five-game All-Star Series against the Japanese national team.
— Joey Nowak

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