Rays exercise options on Escobar, Zobrist

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Updated: 11/04/2013 2:38 pm

St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays have exercised the 2014 contract options on shortstop Yunel Escobar and second baseman Ben Zobrist.

Escobar, who turned 31 on Saturday, hit .256 with nine homers, 56 runs batted in and a career-high 27 doubles in a career-best 153 games this past season. He also led all major league shortstops with a career-best .989 fielding percentage, committing a mere seven errors in 610 chances.

Zobrist was selected as an All-Star for the second time in his eight-year career and batted .275 with 12 homers and 71 RBI in 157 games. The 32-year-old veteran, the longest-tenured member of the Rays, started at four different positions in 2013. He had 117 starts at second base and won the AL fielding title for the position.

Escobar and Zobrist were each finalists for the Gold Glove award, although neither won. The two started 117 games as double-play partners and their combined 11 errors matched the fewest ever by an AL double-play combination.

Cal Ripken Jr. and Billy Ripken combined for 11 errors with Baltimore in 1990, while Mark Loretta and Alex Gonzalez had the same amount for Boston in 2006.

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