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Free agents departing Rays have signed for $213 million

Theo Epstein, Carl Crawford

Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein shakes hands with Carl Crawford at a news conference announcing Crawford’s at Fenway Park in Boston Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Winslow Townson

Following the Yankees signing Rafael Soriano to a three-year, $35 million deal last night Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune notes that the eight free agents departing the Rays this offseason have signed elsewhere for a total of $213 million over 19 years.

That total will rise to $215 million for 20 seasons once Chad Qualls’ deal with the Padres becomes official and Type A free agent Grant Balfour is still on the market (as are Willy Aybar and Lance Cormier).

Meanwhile, the Rays’ big free agent splash was signing middle reliever Joel Peralta to a one-year, $900,000 contract.

Tampa Bay isn’t nearly as bad off as those figures would suggest, as the Rays have several prominent young players like Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson ready to step into big roles, but $215 million versus $900,000 is still pretty staggering.