Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Arbitration, nontender decisions to come this week for Tampa Bay Rays

There's another week of decisions ahead that could shape the Rays roster.

By Tuesday, the seven free agents offered arbitration have to say whether they are accepting or declining.

Historically, most say no, allowing the player to keep negotiating with all teams and making his old team eligible for draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. Expect that from Type A's OF Carl Crawford and RHP Rafael Soriano, plus Type B's OF/DH Brad Hawpe and RHP Chad Qualls, and RHP Joaquin Benoit, who signed with Detroit.

And also from LHP Randy Choate, who — as a Type B doesn't cost the signing team a draft pick — could find a lucrative market.

But there are usually a few players who accept — three last year (including Soriano with Atlanta, prompting his trade to the Rays), two the year before — which makes them signed to a one-year deal, their salary to be determined.

There is some thought that RHP Grant Balfour, who made $2.05 million last season, might be willing. That's because he wants to return, but also in acknowledgement that as a Type A (as classified by the Elias Sports Bureau rankings based on two years of performance), the additional assessment of a top pick from the signing team might limit his appeal on the market.

By Thursday, the Rays have to decide whether to nontender any of their nine arbitration-eligible players, making them free agents, rather than pay them what they'd have to under a system that almost always results in raises.

CF B.J. Upton and RHP Matt Garza are obviously back, and SS Jason Bartlett should be, even if they're planning to give his job to Reid Brignac, just based on Bartlett's potential trade value. Expect LHP J.P. Howell, coming off shoulder surgery, to return, and versatile RHP Andy Sonnanstine as well.

Conversely, it's obvious that C Dioner Navarro is done, either nontendered or dumped in a minor trade, based on his play for his $2.1 million pay and the way he deserted the team when left off the playoff roster.

That leaves up for discussion RHP Lance Cormier, whom they may be more likely to keep given the relief situation, and INF/OF Willy Aybar and 1B/DH Dan Johnson, calls complicated by the uncertainty around free agent 1B Carlos Peña.

MINOR MATTERS: Among players signed to minor-league contracts with spring invites are 1B/3B Russ Canzler, a 24-year-old from Joe Maddon's hometown of Hazleton, Pa., who hit .287 with 21 HRs for the Cubs' Double-A team, and RHP Cory Wade, 27, a key reliever for the Dodgers in 2008 who had shoulder problems that led to March 2010 surgery but made it back to Triple A in July.

RAYS RUMBLINGS: Carl Crawford's agents went high-tech, sending interested teams iPads preloaded with an impressive video touting the free agent's strengths, showing highlights and offering testimonials. … The AL MVP voting said something about the Rays organization, with four players they drafted in the top 10 — No. 1 Josh Hamilton, No. 6 Evan Longoria, No. 7 Crawford, No. 10 Delmon Young. … LHP Alex Torres, despite a rough finale, had a tremendous season (4-1, 1.91, 30 K, 8 BB in 28.1 IP) in Venezuela for Aguilas, where one of his coaches was Wilson Alvarez — yes, that Wilson Alvarez, the former Ray. Alvarez told journalist Augusto Cárdenas he thought Torres, 22, was ready for the majors, at least in a long relief role. … According to Sports Business Daily, the Rays' 5.9 local TV ratings were fifth highest in the majors. … By signing Victor Martinez, the Tigers seem out of the Crawford race, potentially leaving it to the Angels, Red Sox and which team doesn't get Cliff Lee between the Yankees and Rangers.

Arbitration, nontender decisions to come this week for Tampa Bay Rays 11/27/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 27, 2010 10:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Former Buc Mike Glennon says right things about Bears QB situation


    Mike Glennon's go-to line about being recognized around town since becoming a Bear worked as well as ever, producing laughs.

    Quarterback Mike Glennon, shown last season with the Bucs before signing in the offseason with the Bears, is showing good humor about a looming competition in Chicago. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  3. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  5. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.