The Rays and Manuel Margot agreed to a two-year, $19-million extension on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays and Manuel Margot agreed to a two-year, $19-million contract extension. The outfielder will make his agreed upon $5.6-million this season, $7-million in 2023, $10-million in 2024, and will be followed by a $12-million mutual option for 2025 that comes with a $2-million buyout.

It’s a tremendous feeling to know that I’m going to be here for a while, because I’m very comfortable here. It’s good to know that I’m going to be here for potentially three more years.

— Manuel Margot

After coming over from the Padres two seasons ago, Margot has posted slightly below-average numbers at the plate, slashing a cumulative .258 BA/.317 OBP/.375 SLG/.642 OPS line with 11 home runs across 623 plate appearances over 166 games, with 68 RBI, 25 steals, and 3.8 WAR (per Baseball-Reference). Yet, he’s done well to put the ball in play and struck out just 15.2% of the time. While hasn’t hit for much power or drawn many walks, Margot has fared better against left-handed pitching over his career, slashing .273 BA/.338 OBP/.422 SLG/.760 OPS with a .327 wOBA and a 107 wRC+.

Margot is also an excellent defensive outfielder. He has been a plus gloveman in all five of his full big league seasons regardless of where he’s played — no outfielder has fared better than Margot, who led all Major League outfielders with 16 outs above average (per Statcast).

Adam Berry ( noted the importance of the contract extension, writing, “Keeping Margot in the fold for two additional years provides the Rays with some medium-term insurance in the outfield. Phillips, Arozarena, and Lowe all have multiple years of club control remaining, but Kiermaier is entering the final guaranteed season of his contract.”

Playing Pepper 2022

We again are honored to be invited by the Cardinal Conclave to join other notable Rays bloggers — not that we at X-Rays Spex would call ourselves notable or coherent in any way, shape, or form mind you — to give our assessment of Tampa Bay’s 2021/22 offseason, among other things. Maybe, just maybe, this isn’t some elaborate plan concocted by the Cardinal Conclave to put us up against two other writers that actually know what they’re talking about in order to make them look even better. Only time will tell! All jokes aside, you can find our responses below, and you can read the entire piece here.

Without further adieux…

Not including lockout issues, tell me about Tampa Bay’s offseason. What did you like about it, what didn’t you like about it, was there something you were hoping for that didn’t happen?

Tampa Bay started hot by extending Wander Franco then signing Corey Kluber and Brooks Raley to cheap deals. Try as they might, the lockout precluded the Rays from dealing Kevin Kiermaier or Austin Meadows — both of whom were on the block — and also whiffed on Freddie Freeman and Seiya Suzuki. But, they later acquired Harold Ramirez and added bullpen depth including right-hander Jason Adam. I liked those moves overall. Still, it would be nice to see a player like Josh Lowe get more than a cup of coffee this season, yet here we are stuck with a fairly injury-prone Kiermaier and a logjam in the outfield. All that said, the Rays look primed for another successful season.

The team with the best record in the American League didn’t get past the first round of the playoffs. How frustrating is that and why do you think it won’t happen again this year?

It was incredibly frustrating to see the Rays exit the postseason in the Division Series, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Tampa Bay still has a very young core of players that have experienced success at every level of the minor leagues, as well as in the big leagues. Tampa Bay has played October baseball in each of the last three seasons, and there really isn’t any reason to believe they wouldn’t make it again in 2022. If anything, it only made Wander Franco and the boys even hungrier.

Wander Franco finally made his debut. Was it everything you hoped it would be and what does he do in Year 2?

Franco lived up to the hype, and he is slated for more of the same in 2022. Steamer has him projected for a .286 BA/.345 OBP/.476 SLG/.821 OPS across 644 plate appearances with a .350 wOBA and a 5.2 fWAR, which is actually a bit better than his rookie campaign.

Which prospect are you most excited for and when should they make their major league debut?

While Shane Baz made his debut last season and is shelved for the first few weeks of the 2022 season, I still cannot wait to see what he can bring for the better part of an entire season. His stuff is electric, and his curveball and slider are almost un-hittable and, frankly, unfair. The two-headed beast that is Shane McClanahan and Shane Baz should make for some exciting and entertaining outings on the mound.  

How do you see 2022 shaking out for this team? What’s your expectation of where they finish?

The new CBA and extended playoffs could make for a very interesting season, especially in the AL East. Three teams from that division made the postseason in 2021, and four out of the five AL East teams could, conceivably, be playing after October 5 in ‘22. Steamer has the Rays, Yankees, and Blue Jays battling it out for the top spot in the division, projecting each team to end the season within a game of one another. Talk about the potential for another stressful, yet fun, season! What the heck, I’ll go out on a limb and say the Rays will eke out the top spot in the division.

Besides yourself and the team account, give me up to three good Rays Twitter accounts to follow.

@RaysColoGlasses (Rays Colored Glasses), @DRaysBay, and @RaysMetrics are great Twitter accounts and are very informative. Notable mention goes out to @StadiumShadow for all things Rays’ Stadium Saga oriented. Noah, an investigative journalist by trade, runs the Shadow of the Stadium blog (and the aforementioned Twitter account) and does a fantastic job taking local politicians — some of whom dabble in rampant corruption — and members of the media to task for mishandling the Rays stadium search. He also happens to be right most of the time. You know you’re doing something right when you get under the skin of as many people as he does.