Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com is reporting that Kelly Shoppach and the Rays avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year deal for $5.5 million. There is also a team option for 2012 for an unknown amount.
Catcher Kelly Shoppach has agreed to a guaranteed two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays worth about $5.5 million, a baseball source told ESPN.com…The contract takes Shoppach through his final two years of salary arbitration, and includes a club option for his first year of free agency.
If there was any question which catcher was the preferred backstop by the Rays, that was answered today. Last month the Rays avoided arbitration with Dioner Navarro by giving him a one-year deal for $2.1 million.