The Buccaneers protected themselves from losing RFA MLB Barrett Ruud to another team by issuing him the highest possible tender, meaning an opposing club would have to give up both a first-round pick and a third-rounder if he signed an offer sheet and the Bucs chose not to match the offer. While Ruud is a talented player in his prime, no team is willing to pay that steep price for his services. The sixth-year veteran is still hoping to get a long-term deal done with Tampa Bay, but sources don't expect GM Mark Dominik to give Ruud the offer he wants anytime soon. The Bucs, like many teams, are hesitant to commit to long-term contracts with uncertainty about the Collective Bargaining Agreement and a potential lockout in 2011. Ruud already has said that despite his frustration, he will not hold out of voluntary workouts and OTAs, and we hear the team still considers him a core player on defense.
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