The Tampa Bay Rays have given a 2-year contract extension to shortstop Yunel Escobar, according to a report from CBSSports.com,
The extension will pay Escobar $13.5 million for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, with a club option for 2017 added to the deal.
The once embattled infielder has found a home in Tampa, and has provided stability on the field and at the plate for the Rays, who are struggling to find offense in their lineup.
This extension replaces the option for the 2015 season that the 31-year-old shortstop had in his previous deal.
From a statement by Rays president, Andrew Friedman:
"“Yunel has been a tremendous addition to our infield and was a critical part of our success last year. He brings enthusiasm and energy to our group on a daily basis to go along with his abilities on the field. We are excited to have the opportunity to extend his time in our uniform.”"
Escobar had run into trouble after becoming a clubhouse distraction in Atlanta, with the Braves trading him to the Toronto Blue Jays, where things slid downhill quickly when he was photographed with a perceived anti-gay phrase written on his eye black.
The Jays traded Escobar to the Marlins in November of 2012 as part of the Miami fire sale, and the Marlins sent Escobar to the Rays less than a month later.
Escobar hit .256/.332/.366 with nine homers and 56 RBI last season, his first with Tampa.