UPDATE: All signed - Niemann gets $3-million, Roberts $2.95M. Joyce $2.45M, Fuld $725,000
UPDATE, 1:12: The Rays resolved the two other cases as well - INF Ryan Roberts got $2.95 million and OF Matt Joyce $2.45-million. Roberts can make another $50,000, and get to $3-million, if he makes 450 plate appearances.
UPDATE, 12:33: Fuld agreed to a one-year deal for $725,000.
He made $489,400 last season, sidelined into July recovering from wrist surgery.
DEVELOPING: The Rays reached agreement with RHP Jeff Niemann on a one-year deal for $3-million, leaving them in talks with three other arbitration eligible players - OF Sam Fuld, OF Matt Joyce, INF Ryan Roberts - heading to the 1 p.m. deadline to exchange figures. Under team policy, talks cease once figures are exchanged and they proceed to a hearing next week.
Niemann gets a $250,000 raise after making $2.75-million (after losing an arbitration hearing) in an injury-shortened 2012 season, as went 2-3, 3.38 before breaking his right leg when hit by a ball in his seventh start. He returned Sept. 1 but left that start in the fourth inning with shoulder issues that ended his season.
He has spent the winter working out, told team officials he feels great and is not expected to be under any restrictions when spring training opens Feb. 12.
Roberts looks to be the most expensive of the remaining three players, as he made $2.0215-million last season when he was acquired from Arizona and is projected by mlbtraderumors.com to get around $3-million. That after hitting a combined .235, with a .656 OPS, in 143 games with the D-backs and Rays.
Joyce, arbitration eligible for the first time, is projected to get around $2.6-million. He hit .241, with a .769 OPS, 17 homers and 59 RBIs in an injury shortened 2012 season, making $499,500.
Fuld, who missed more than half the season recovering from wrist surgery, is also a first-time eligible, hitting .255 with a .644 OPS in 44 games. He is likely to get between $500,000 and $1-million.