The Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration with seven of the nine eligible players, agreeing to one-contracts for the 2018 season.
On Friday, the Tampa Bay Rays and their nine arbitration eligible players exchanged salary figures with seven of their nine players reaching agreement on a one-year contract for the 2018 season.
Signing on the dotted line were Alex Colome, Matt Duffy, Steven Souza Jr., Corey Dickerson, Dan Jennings, Brad Miller and Jesus Sucre. Unable to come to a reach agreement were Adeiny Hechavarria and Jake Odorizzi, who will now head to an arbitration hearing sometime in February.
For the second consecutive year, Odorizzi and the Rays will be going to an arbitration hearing. Last year the Rays submitted $3.2 million, Odorizzi submitted $4.1 and the panel of arbitrators agreed with Odorizzi.
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Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times writes that the Rays are not far apart with Odorizzi or Hechavarria. Mooney states that Odorizzi asked for $6.3 million with the Rays offer coming in at $6.05 million.
In my last post Tampa Bay Rays Prepare for Arbitration Salary Pitch, I had speculated that the Rays would not come close to mlbtraderumors.com projected $6.5 million or what Odorizzi asked for. However, I did speculate that they would not come to an agreement and head to arbitration.
Acquired from the Marlins in June, Hechavarria was working on a $4.35 million contract ( from Marlins) with the Rays taking on all of his remaining salary at the time. In all honesty, I really thought that Hechavarria would have signed considering mlbtraderumors.com projected $5.0 million. However, Hechavarria asked for $5.9 million and the Rays offered $5.3 million, which is still a decent raise.
"Alex Colome ($5.5 million) – $5.3, Corey Dickerson ($6.4) – $5.95, Dan Jennings ($2.5) – $2.375, Brad Miller ($4.4) – $4.5, Steven Souza ($3.6) – $3.55, Jesus Sucre ($1.3) – $925,000, Matt Duffy ($900,000) – $930K, Jake Odorizzi ($6.5) – DNS, Adeiny Hechavarria ($5.0) – DNS. (mlbtraderumors.com projected salary in parenthesis, followed by agreed salary)"
The seven that did come to agreement all received raises especially Alex Colome receiving a hefty raise from $547,900 to $5.3 million for 2018. Rightfully so, Colome earned every penny as he led the majors in saves, becoming the first Rays closer to do so.
Corey Dickerson almost doubled his salary from 2017 getting a significant raise from $3.035 million to $5.95 million. Brad Miller will receive $4.5 million up from $3.575 million last year and Steven Souza Jr. will enjoy a significant raise going from $546,700 in 2017 to $3.55 million. Colome and Souza Jr. were both in their first year as arbitration eligible players.
Dan Jennings will earn $2.375 million up from the $1.4 million he received in 2017 on a contract signed as member of the White Sox. Jesus Sucre received a very nice $295,000 raise from $630,000 to $925,000 for 2018 and despite missing the entire 2017 season due to a lingering heel injury, Matt Duffy will earn $930,000 after making $545,300 last year.
The Rays must pay Odorizzi and Hechavarria whatever the arbitrators rule – however, the Rays can still trade them, along with any of the other seven players that agreed on their contracts. All that has happened during this process is setting their salary only for 2018.