Rays Kiermaier: 'I'm the happiest man on the planet right now'
Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier had plenty of reasons to be happy on Monday as the team formally announced the new contract that guarantees him $53.5-million over six years and could be worth up to $66.15-million over seven.
"This is a day that I can't say its unbelievable because I've always dreamed of this and I've worked my butt off ever since I got to junior college to try and make this moment happen, and here it is. I couldn't be more thankful and grateful for this opportunity and everything else that comes along with it. A lot of hard work and dedication can make a lot of great things happen.
"I'm telling you, I'm the happiest man on the planet right now.''
Rays baseball operations president Matt Silverman and agent Larry Reynolds joined Kiermaier for the announcement, and both spoke to his character and dedication, certian that the big bucks won't change anything about him.
Signing on long-term and giving up potential greater earnings in the future can be difficult for some players, but not Kiermaier, who said, "This was an easy decision for me to be honest and I'm so glad it's done now.''
Kiermaier also spoke to how welcome and comfortable he has felt in the Tampa Bay market, noting that he has shed his Midwestern roots and now officially considers himself a Floridian.
Teammate Chris Archer also attended the press conference.
Here is the breakdown of the contract, which includes incentives and escalators for the option year:
Signing bonus: $1,000,000
2023: $2,500,000 buyout or $13,000,000 team option, which can escalate based on performance during deal.