Rays sign RHP Pete Fairbanks to a 3-year extension

Jan 28, 2023 - 12:44 AM
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The Rays continue to work towards both rewarding and securing their core players. Pete Fairbanks and the Rays today agreed to a 3-year contract extension, with a club option for a 4th year.

Per Marc Topkin, the deal could be as much as $24.6M with incentives. The club option year in 2026 would cover Fairbanks first FA year, and could be worth as much as $11M with all incentives triggering.

Pete Fairbanks has been one of the most dominating and electric relievers in the Rays pen since arriving from the Texas Rangers organization. Last year, Fairbanks returned from injury to reach another level of dominance. In 24 IP, Fairbanks notched the 2nd best K-BB% in all of baseball at 40.2% to pair with his sterling 1.13 ERA and 0.86 FIP.

In fact, in 2022 the list of pitchers with a K% over 30%, a BB% under 10%, and an ERA and FIP both below 1.50 is just two:

Edwin Diaz and Pete Fairbanks

If you were to lower that walk rate to below 5%, that list shrinks to just Fairbanks.

Pete is elite, and Pete will be in St Pete for the foreseeable future. And that should please Rays fans.

Here’s more from the Rays press release and from Pete Fairbanks himself:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays have signed right-handed pitcher Pete Fairbanks to a three-year, $12 million contract through the 2025 season, including a club option for the 2026 season. The pact is worth up to $24.6 million if the club option is exercised, performance escalators are reached and award bonuses are triggered.

Fairbanks, 29, is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA (105.2-IP, 35-ER) and 15 saves in 111 appearances (two starts) since being acquired by the Rays in July 2019. Last season, he went 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA (24-IP, 3-ER) in 24 appearances after opening the season on the 60-day IL with a right lat strain. He made his season debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite missing over three months. Min. 20 IP, he ranked second in the American League in WHIP (0.67), fourth in ERA and fifth in opponents’ avg. (.159). He struck out 43.7 pct. (38 of 87) of batters faced, second in the majors (min. 20 IP) behind NYM Edwin Díaz (50.2 pct.), and it marked the second-highest for a single season in franchise history behind Nick Anderson (52.6 pct.) in 2019. He ended the season with 22 straight scoreless appearances, the second-longest streak in club history.

Fairbanks is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA (15-IP, 6-ER) and three saves in 12 career postseason appearances, all with the Rays. In 2020, he became the fifth rookie since saves became an official stat (since 1969) to record three (or more) in the postseason. He was on the mound when the Rays clinched the pennant in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

Fairbanks was acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers on July 13, 2019 in exchange for minor league infielder Nick Solak. He was selected by the Rangers in the ninth round of the 2015 Amateur Draft out of the University of Missouri.

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