Luke Scott signed his new contract with the Tampa Bay Rays earlier today. He’ll make $5 million in 2012, and his deal includes a $6 million option in 2013 with a $1 million buyout. He was paid $6.4 million last season.
Scott says the Orioles never made him an offer after non-tendering him on Dec. 12. His agent, Page Odle, only heard from the club once, a little more than a week ago.
“They just did not show much interest at all,” said Scott, who was named Most Valuable Oriole in 2010. “At no point in time did they make a formal offer. I even reached out to them a few times after the non-tender, but they never called back. They never really expressed interest.
“They called back one time a little over a week ago. They just said they may be able to find a spot. But at the end of the day, they never made a formal offer. They weren’t that interested.”
At least 11 teams expressed some level of interest in Scott. The Rays made a suitable offer and will use him primarily as their designated hitter.
“They expressed the most interest,” Scott said. “They’re really excited to have me and that’s where I want to be, in an organization that wants me there. It worked out. I think it’s the best decision for me.”
Scott underwent surgery in July to repair a torn labrum, and while he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery, he estimated that he won’t be able to play the outfield until mid-May or June.
“I’ll be ready to hit before I’m ready to play the outfield or first base, so I’ll probably DH first,” he said. “My shoulder will dictate that, but it should be fine. I’ll be ready. I could be ready to play first base whenever spring training is over and when we start the season.”
Scott spent four seasons with the Orioles, batting .220 with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 64 games last year before being shut down and undergoing surgery in Pensacola, Fla.
“I’ll miss the fans,” he said. “Their support was tremendous. I just want to really express my gratitude and appreciation for the fans and how they treated me. They were very supportive and I’ll always be grateful for that. And I made great friendships with the guys in the clubhouse, and I’ll miss them. I’ll stay in contact and I wish them the best.
“It was a good experience for me. It’s a great place to play. I had fun. My heart’s desire was I wanted to win, get in the playoffs and win a championship there, but unfortunately, that didn’t work out. I’m just grateful for the experience I had there.”