Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Howell avoids arbitration, signs for $1.35
Posted Jan 16, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Jan 16, 2012 at 10:35 PM
The Rays avoided arbitration Monday with J.P. Howell by agreeing on a one-year, $1.35 million deal that includes performance bonuses.
“I’m extremely pleased with my contract,” Howell said. “The goal in Day 1 of camp for me, and I’m sure everyone in the Rays organization is to never lose focus of the process. Our process is to win championships, and that’s the goal.”
Howell, who missed the 2010 season while rehabbing from shoulder surgery and was non-tendered after the season, signed for $1.1 million last winter.
He had an up-and-down season after rejoining the team May 20.
His ERA through his first 15 appearances was 10.32. It was 3.72 over his final 31 outings.
Howell’s biggest problem was too much velocity on his fastball and an inconsistent curveball.
Also, he struggled in big moments. Opposing batters had a .394 average with runners in scoring position and batted .300 with runners on base. With the bases empty, Howell held opposing hitters to a .214 average.
The Rays have until noon today to reach agreements and avoid arbitration with David Price, B.J. Upton, Jeff Niemann and Burke Badenhop.