Rays pick up options on Yunel Escobar, Ben Zobrist

The Rays announce they will exercise the options to keep Yunel Escobar and Ben Zobrist.

Club options were exercised on shortstop Yunel Escobar and infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist, the Tampa Bay Rays announced Saturday.

The decisions were considered to be among the most simple the Rays face this offseason. Escobar will make $5 million next year and Zobrist $7 million.

Escobar, 31, played in a career-high 153 games last season and led all major league shortstops with a team-record and career-best .989 fielding percentage. A finalist for the American League Gold Glove Award, he hit .256 with nine homers, 56 RBI and a career-best 27 doubles.

Zobrist, 32, was named an All-Star for the second time last July. Also an AL Gold Glove Award finalist, he had a club-record .993 fielding percentage in his time playing four positions. He hit .275 with 12 homers, 71 RBI and 36 doubles.

The Rays also hold club options on outfielder David DeJesus ($6.5 million) and reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo ($2 million). Tampa Bay must decide on DeJesus’ option by midnight Sunday and Oviedo’s option by midnight Monday.

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.

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