Tampa Bay Rays: Settle With Nine, Arbitration for Odorizzi

The Tampa Bay Rays reached agreement with nine of their 10 arbitration eligible players , will head to a February hearing with Odorizzi.

The Tampa Bay Rays and nine of their 10 arbitration eligible players all reached agreement on contracts for the 2017 season with the exception pitcher of Jake Odorizzi, who will now go through the process of an arbitration hearing sometime in February.

One of the Tampa Bay Rays ways of doing things is their self-imposed arbitration process, which they prefer to conclude their negotiating by the numbers filing date with one exception, that being if they are trying to negotiate a multiyear deal with a player.

Odorizzi made $520,700 last season. He was projected by MLBTradeRumors to make $4.6 million this season. Odorizzi filed at $4.1 million, and the Rays filed at $3.825 million.

Pitchers Alex Cobb ($4.0/$4.2 million), Erasmo Ramirez ($3.5/$3.215 million), Brad Boxberger ($1.5/$1.6 million), Xavier Cedeno ($1.2/$1.3 million), and Danny Farquhar ($1.1/$900,000) along with positional players Brad Miller ($3.8/$3.575 million), Tim Beckham ($885,000), Kevin Kiermaier ($2.1/$2.975 million), and Corey Dickerson ($3.4/$3.025 million) all reached agreements on their one-year contract.

“This is always a grueling week with a lot of spirited back and forth,” said Sr. vice President of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom. “And I think when you have 10 players who are arbitration-eligible, there’s always a chance that you don’t come to an agreement with somebody.

“We’re happy to have agreements with the nine guys that we did agree with. And we understand that sometimes two sides see the world a little differently. And it’s a good thing that there’s a process in place to let a third party choose.”

In his third year of eligibility, Cobb topped his projection with a $200K raise and will be headed to free agency following the 2017 season. In their first-year of eligibility, Cedeno and Boxberger topped their projections, by $100K each and Kiermaier (a Super2) topped his with $875K.

Although Dickerson, Ramirez, Farquhar, Miller all received raises, they fell short of their projected salaries. Dickerson and Ramirez both fell $375K short, Miller was $225K short and Farquhar was fell $200K short. Miller and Ramirez are controllable for another three seasons and Farquhar can be controlled for four.

Kiermaier was the big winner, crushing his $2.1 million projection by becoming arbitration eligible by one day of service time. Kiermaier will be arbitration eligible three more times before he is eligible to hit the open market following the 2020 season.

The shocker was the raise of $341K ($514K/$855K) to Tim Beckham despite a line of .247/.300/.434 with five home runs in 215 plate appearances in 2016. More so because it was looking as though Beckham’s days with the Rays was over, after not receiving a September call-up after being demoted to Durham.

It would seem that the Rays and Beckham have ironed everything out and that he will be given an opportunity this spring.

As for Odorizzi, he will head to an arbitration hearing sometime in February hoping to beat the Rays who have only been ruled against once in seven hearings and that was last year to Drew Smyly.

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The players the Rays succeeded against were Esteban Yan (2002), Josh Paul (2006, 2007), Dioner Navarro (2009), Melvin Upton Jr. (2010) and Jeff Niemann (2012).

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