Report: Rays to sign young lefty Moore

Tampa Bay Rays to sign young lefty Matt Moore to deal worth up to $40 million

The Tampa Bay Rays moved to lock up one of their prized young pitchers Friday, agreeing to terms on a long-term contract with lefty Matt Moore that could be worth nearly $40 million over the next eight years, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

The 22-year-old Moore is regarded as one of the top young pitching prospects in baseball. He made his major league debut in September and pitched seven scoreless innings to defeat the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of the ALDS.

The contract will reportedly guarantee Moore $14 million over the next five seasons. If the Rays exercise options in the following three years, the value of the deal would be $39.75 million.

According to ESPN, the contract would be the largest in baseball history for a player with less than two years of service time. Moore was drafted out of high school in the eighth round in 2007.

The financially savvy Rays have signed several young players to long-term deals to avoid losing them later to big-market clubs in free agency. In recent years, the team has made similar moves with Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, James Shields and Wade Davis.

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