Former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Sam Fuld accepted a minor league deal Tuesday with the Oakland A’s that included an invite to big league spring training.
Fuld will receive $800,000 plus another $100,000 in incentives if he makes the big league club. The deal allows Fuld to opt-out near the end of spring training or by June 1 if he is not on the major league roster.
Fuld said he had a similar offer from the Rays but felt he has a better opportunity to make the 25-man roster in Oakland. With left-handed hitting David DeJesus and Matt Joyce in the Rays outfield plus several infielders who can also play the outfield, Fuld saw his chances of playing at the big league level in Tampa Bay as slim.
“It was difficult to say no to Tampa Bay,” Fuld said. “I thought Oakland was the better opportunity.”
Fuld, who came to the Rays in 2011 from the Chicago Cubs in the Matt Garza trade, was one of the more popular players on the team during the past three seasons. He was non-tendered in November and spent the offseason looking for a deal.
A graduate of Stanford University, Fuld said he is looking forward to returning to the San Francisco Bay area.
“I’m excited,” he said. “Clearly the goal anytime you get non-tendered is to get a major league deal, and once I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I was looking for the best opportunity. I have a ton of respect for what goes on in Oakland. It’s eerily similar to what goes on in Tampa Bay.”