The Rays announced Monday that they have signed outfielder Kevin Kiermaier to a six-year, $63.5 million extension that includes a $13 million club option for 2023. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times was first to report the pending deal last week.
Kiermaier’s deal extends Tampa’s control for three seasons, buying out four arbitration seasons and three free-agent years (including the option). The contract can max out (with escalators and the option) at $66.15 million over seven years.
Kiermaier, who turns 27 next month, has been an excellent contributor for the Rays in three major-league seasons. Despite hitting just .258/.313/.425 with 32 homers in 365 games since becoming a regular in 2014, Kiermaier has been worth an fWAR of 13.1 in that span, largely due to his excellent center-field defense. Kiermaier is a 2-time Gold Glover who is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in all of baseball, and has also pitched in 44 steals for Tampa over the past three years.
Kiermaier joins third baseman Evan Longoria and starter Chris Archer as cornerstones for the Rays, as both of those players are locked up on long-term deals as well. Longoria’s deal keeps him under control through the 2023 season, while Archer’s deal keeps him in town through 2020.
Tampa Bay could look to lock up a couple of its other young stars this spring, as the club has shown interest in locking up Jake Odorizzi and Alex Cobb throughout the past year.