The Tampa Bay Rays lost their first arbitration case on Saturday as the three-member panel agreed on Adeiny Hechavarria’s filing request.
After having his arbitration hearing on Friday, the three-member panel came back on Saturday with their decision and awarded Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria his filing request of $5.9 million dollars.
MLBTraderumors.com projected a salary of $5.0 million and the Rays offer was for $5.35 million, a million more that what he made last season via arbitration with the Miami Marlins. In seeking and receiving $5.9 million, Hechavarria nets a hefty $1.55 million dollar raise in his third jaunt through the arbitration process.
Hechavarria becomes the third Rays player to win his case under Stuart Sternberg’s ownership, joining Drew Smyly (2016) and Jake Odorizzi (2017) to win their case. The Rays have one more hearing on Feb. 12, when Odorizzi returns for his second consecutive trip in front of the panel.
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Odorizzi is seeking $6.3 million, while the Rays offered $6.05 million – mlbtraderumors.com projected a $6.5 million salary. Last year, Odorizzi won his case of $4.1 million as the Rays submitted $3.2 million.
Hechavarria known more for his defense than his bat came through for the Rays playing a phenomenal shortstop upon his arrival and even surprised everyone with that he can provide some power as well.
In 77 games with the Rays, Hechavarria would hit .257/.289/.411 with seven home runs (career high), 12 doubles, four triples, 24 RBIs and a .701 OPS. Overall, in 97 games Hechavarria slashed .261/.289/.406 with eight home runs, 14 doubles, five triples, 30 RBIs with a .695 OPS in 348 plate appearances (330 at-bats).
Meanwhile, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Odorizzi is prepared for whatever happens.
“There’s always that unsureness, especially with us and when people get to where I’m at in contract status and years left remaining (until free agency), this is typically the time (to be traded),” said Odorizzi.
The distressing factor with arbitration for the Rays cases, especially this year when they want to reduce payroll is that regardless whether or not they win or lose, payroll will increase.
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In my opinion, it now seems almost a certainty that the Rays will amp-up their attempts in trading as many of their higher priced players in order to reduce payroll, which could now include Hechavarria.