"Major risk, major reward?" or "Evan Almighty!"

I've gotten used to the New York Islanders pulling stuff like this and I've also gotten used to the Tampa Bay lack-of-Devil Rays pulling this on a cost effective platform in the past...

But a nine year investment in a rookie? This takes things to new risk levels:

"This is obviously fairly unique," Friedman said. "But it was something both sides had interest in really exploring and talking about. And both sides had to make some concessions along the way to get to this point."... We have to stay open minded. The economics of the game and us being a low-revenue team, we have to think differently and take chances such as this to keep our nucleus in place as long as we can."

The salaries for the first six years of the agreement are guaranteed, with the team holding a one-year option for 2014 season and a subsequent two-year option for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. The contract guarantees $17.5 million. If the Rays exercise both options, Longoria would earn more than $44 million over the life of the nine-year agreement.

"Fairly Unique" does not begin to explain it. But Longoria was signed on the cheap considering what has has already accomplished and what he could command on an open market... IF he pans out (and even if not -- scrub players are getting obscene money in MLB in recent years).