The deadline for non-tendering players ahead of arbitration hearings is tomorrow, so we have decided to analyze the remaining decisions the Tampa Bay Rays front office will be faced with.
Entering the offseason, the Tampa Bay Rays roster included nine arbitration eligible players but after a series of recent decisions made by the front office that number now stands at just six. Mike Zunino, Jesus Aguilar, and Matt Duffy were projected to make a combined 10.3M in arbitration this offseason, but the Rays cut that number in half by releasing Jesus Aguilar and Matt Duffy and signing Zunino to a new deal.
Zunino, Aguilar, and Duffy had all been pegged as possible non-tender candidates since the dawn of this offseason and now the latter two will be searching for new homes prior to the beginning of the 2020 season.
After missing out on Travis d’Arnaud, the Rays opted to recommit to Zunino and sign him to a 1 year deal worth 4.5M with an option for 2021 worth another 4.5M plus incentives. The hope is that Zunino’s bat will bounce back in 2020.
Now with three players already accounted for, the Rays are faced with six more decisions that must be made before tomorrow’s deadline. Three of the six players up for arbitration should rest easy knowing that the Rays will count on them in 2020, while the other three will likely be waiting until the deadline to find out what the future holds for them in 2020 and beyond.