Hellickson renewed, other pre-arbs signed
UPDATE, 1:19: The Rays have annouced the signings and Hellickson's renewal. Here are the players signed to one-year deals: RH Chris Archer, INF Tim Beckham, C Robinson Chirinos, RH Alex Cobb, RH Alex Colome, LH Frank De Los Santos, C Chris Gimenez, RH Brandon Gomes, OF Brandon Guyer, OF Desmond Jennings, SS Hak-Ju Lee, C Jose Lobaton, RH Josh Lueke, LH Jake McGee, LH Mike Montgomery, RH Jake Odorizzi, LH Cesar Ramos, LH Felipe Rivero, LH Enny Romero, LH Alex Torres and C Stephen Vogt.
DEVELOPING: All the Rays pre-arbitration players will be signed to one-year deals by today's deadline, with RHP Jeremy Hellickson declining the team's offer and having his contract renewed for a second straight year.
"It's really not that big a deal; I just thought it was the right thing to do,'' Hellickson said. "Now I'll just worry about playing baseball.''
The Rays typically stick to firm pay scale for pre-arbitration players (less than 3 years service for the most part), which this year extends from the $490,000 MLB minimum to $510,000.
Hellickson, who was 10-11, 3.10 last year in his followup to his 2011 AL Rookie of the Year season, said he thought he deserved the top amount so when the Rays offered $508,000 he turned it down as much on principle as anything (since players in that category have no leverage), and per team policy for being renewed will get $5,000 less, thus $503,000. He made $489,000 last year.
"It's not about the money at all, I just felt I deserved the top of the scale,'' said Hellickson, who is represented by agent Scott Boras. "It was just a little short.''
Hellickson will have leverage after this season when he becomes eligible for arbitration for the first of three times.