Rays win arbitration case over Niemann
UPDATE, 4:02: With Niemann the last of six arbitration-eligible players to have his salary decided, the Rays are ready to move forward.
“We are officially at the end of the arbitration process for the year,'' executive VP Andrew Friedman said. "We had a number of eligible players this year and we’re happy to have this process behind us so we can focus all of our attention on getting ready for the season.”
BREAKING: The Rays won their arbitration case against RHP Jeff Niemann.
Niemann will get the $2.75-million the team offered this season rather than the $3.2-million he sought.
The Rays are now 5-0 in arbitration cases in the Andrew Friedman regime, 6-0 overall, the only undefeated team in the majors.
The hearing was held Thursday in St. Petersburg.
Niemann, 28, went 11-7, 4.06 in 23 games last season, spending six weeks on the disabled list with a back strain. Niemann's pay scale has been a little unusual as he signed a five-year, $5.2 million major-league contract after the 2004 draft that paid him $1.29 million in 2009, and his salary was cut the next two seasons, to $1.032 million in 2010 and to $903,000 in 2011.
The Rays were represented by general counsel/senior vice president John Higgins and the Proskauer Rose law firm. Niemann joined his agents, the Hendricks brothers, for the three hour session.
Niemann was property of the Rays in any event; the hearing was held to determine how much he would be paid.
Friedman acknowledged before the hearing that there were "philosophical" differences between the sides.