|Alex Rios, Aaron Hill get new deals with Toronto Blue Jays|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 04 April 2008 10:23|
Toronto announced the agreements before its home opener against the Boston Red Sox. Rios' deal includes a $13.5 million team option for 2015 with a $1 million buyout that, if exercised, would increase the value to $76.5 million over seven seasons.
Hill's deal includes three club options that could make it worth $40 million. The Blue Jays must decide in 2011 whether to exercise the options for one, two or three years.
General manager J.P. Ricciardi said keeping the homegrown stars was important to his team's ``family atmosphere.''
``We've got a nice buzz around this team, a nice buzz in the clubhouse,'' Ricciardi said.
The 26-year-old Rios batted .297 and set career highs with 24 home runs and 85 RBIs in 2007, when he earned $2,535,000.
Hill, whose deal takes effect immediately, set career highs with 17 home runs, 78 RBIs and 47 doubles in 2007.
Rios gets a complete no-trade clause in the first two years of the deal and a limited no-trade clause in the remaining years.
His contract is the second-richest in club history, behind only the $126 million, seven-year extension signed by outfielder Vernon Wells in 2006k, an agreement that also runs through 2014.
``It's great that we got it done,'' Rios said. ``I still can't believe it. I never thought I was going to be making so much money.''
Rios avoided salary arbitration Feb. 5 by agreeing to a $4,835,000, one-year contract. The new contract begins next season, two years before Rios is eligible for free agency.
A two-time All-Star, Rios was Toronto's first-round pick in the June, 1999 draft. He broke into the majors in 2004.
Hill's agreement replaces the $410,000, one-year contract he agreed to last month.