Jays lock up Rios, Hill

TORONTO — Seeing Aaron Hill standing in the hallway wearing a suit was definitely a surprise when we were heading to the presser to announce Alex Rios signing a six-year deal. As it turns out, both Rios and Hill inked extensions today.

Rios’ contract is for six years and $64 million with an option for the 2015 season that could make the deal worth near $80 million. Hill signed a four-year, $12 million deal with club options for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons. According to Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, Toronto has once chance — prior to the 2011 season — to choose either a one-year, two-year or three-year extension. It’s be $8 mil for one more year, $16 for two or $26 for three.

Ricciardi said he preferred not to comment about any trade clauses, but I believe it’s limite no-trades for both players. Ricciardi did note that the players cannot opt out at any point. Rios’ deal takes effect next year and Hill’s goes into effect immediately. I don’t have a breakdown of the annual salaries or bonuses or anything yet.

The presser was quite entertaining, with Vernon Wells, Roy Halladay, Matt Stairs, Lyle Overbay and John McDonald making appearances. We jokingly asked Wells if he had to give up some of his salary to help the club afford the new deals for Rios and Hill. When asked if he was picking up the next tab for a team meal, Rios said that’s Vern’s department. Nice.

Back with more later…

UPDATE — 5:46 pm: OK, some clarification on the contracts for Hill and Rios. For Hill, by Opening Day 2011, the Jays need to decided whether or not to pick up three additional years for $26 million, running through 2014. If the team declines, the Jays then has to decide at the end of the ’11 season to either decline the option altogether or to pick up either a one-year extension worth $8 million or a two-year worth $16 million. For Rios, his contract is six-years worth $64 million, but there is a $1 million buyout for after the 2014 season. Should Toronto decide to keep Rios around through 2015 with the club option, it’d be another $13.5 million. So essentially, it’s either a six-year, $65 million deal or a seven-year, $77.5 million deal. Now that we’re clear…

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (1-2) at BOSTON (3-1)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

David Eckstein, SS
Matt Stairs, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Marco Scutaro, 3B
Gregg Zaun, C

PITCHING: RHP Shaun Marcum

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Julio Lugo, SS
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Kevin Cash, C

PITCHING: RHP Tim Wakefield


That should make both players happy! Great players and I hope that this move pays off. Ricciardi has this tendancy to give out early contract extensions to try and make players happy. It is an interesting strategy, compared to waiting to the last minute to sign these guys hoping they will have to perform for their payday.

It sends a message to players that if they keep performing their payday can come at anytime. This didn’t really work with Vernon Wells (at least last season), but I think it worked good with Halladay (he just needs to stay off the DL, as we all know)

Both deals are very good for the Jays considering how fast salaries can rise. If both players continue their progression their salaries in the last years of their deals will be a bargain. Now on to Mcgowan.

Hurray! our 2-3-4 hitters locked up for at least the next 4 season!

With Snider (LF) and Lind (DH) fast approaching, the future of the Jays suddenly looks very promising! With vets like Overbay and Rolen around for 3 more yrs, we could be a very good club in the near future! Now all we need to do is to go out and start winning some games to back it all up.

Go Jays Go!

Anyone know why yahoo sports says that the Jays gave Rios 70 mil and not 64? And great game against the Redsox today.

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