The Tampa Bay Rays made the easy call to exercise their 2015 club option for infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist.
The option, worth $7.5 million, means a 10th season in a Rays uniform is within reach for the versatile player who has become one of Tampa Bay’s most recognizable presences. He can be the first player in franchise history to play a 10th season with the Rays.
"Ben has been integral to the success that the Rays have enjoyed throughout his career here," Rays vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom said in a statement. "His skill and versatility on the field, combined with his character and selflessness, make him the ultimate team player. We are excited to continue forward with him."
Zobrist, 33, stands as the franchise leader in doubles (229) and walks (542). The two-time All-Star is second to Carl Crawford in games played (1,064), hits (1,016), runs scored (565) and triples (32). Since records became available in 1914, Zobrist is the first major-league player to play in 200 career games at shortstop, second base and right field.
He hit .272 with 10 home runs, 52 RBI and an on-base percentage of .354 in 146 games last season.