ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli is going on the disabled list for an indefinite period due to an abnormality that has kept him in a constant stage of fatigue.
Baldelli said he had some type of "metabolic, and/or mitochondrial abnormalities, basically along the lines my body isn't making or producing ATP the right way, and therefore not allowing my muscles to work as they should and recover like they're supposed to on a day-to-day basis."
Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters the Rays will stick by Baldelli to the best of their abilities to help him out in whatever way they can. Friedman also said Baldelli's condition will likely lead to the Rays not picking up the outfielder's option for the 2009 season.
Under the terms of the long-term contract Baldelli signed after the 2005 season, the Rays have until April 1 to decide whether to pick up his $6 million option for 2009. If the Rays decline, they must pay him $4 million, and Baldelli would become a free agent at the end of the 2008 season. If they exercise the option, the Rays would then have to face the same question of whether to renew him for '10 and '11 at a cost of $17 million, or buy him out at $2 million.
Friedman said the Rays will soon begin addressing what they will do without Baldelli, who was being counted on to be part of a "right-field triangle" with Cliff Floyd and Jonny Gomes, in which two of the three would play right field and DH on a daily basis.
Begining of the end I am afraid