Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Odorizzi, Rays headed to arbitration; nine others settle

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reached deals with nine of their 10 arbitration-eligible players by Friday's 1 p.m. deadline, with pitcher Jake Odorizzi the lone holdout.

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

Since it is Rays policy not to negotiate beyond the deadline unless it is for a multiyear deal, Odorizzi and the Rays are headed to an arbitration hearing in February.

"This is always a grueling week with a lot of spirited back and forth, and I think when you have 10 players who are arbitration eligible, there's always a chance you don't come to an agreement with somebody," said Chaim Bloom, Rays senior vice president of baseball. "We're happy to have agreements with the nine guys that we did agree with, but we understand that two sides see the world a little differently, and it's a good thing there's a process in place to let a third party choose."

Last year, former Rays pitcher Drew Smyly became the first player to win an arbitration case against the Rays since Stuart Sternberg took over as principal owner after the 2005 season.

They reached agreements on 2017 contracts with right-hander Alex Cobb ($4.2 million), first baseman Brad Miller ($3.575 million), right-hander Erasmo Ramirez ($3.215 million), outfielder Corey Dickerson ($3.025 million), centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier ($2.975 million), right-hander Brad Boxberger ($1.6 million), left-hander Xavier Cedeno ($1.3 million), right-hander Danny Farquhar ($900,000) and infielder Tim Beckham ($885,000).

Bloom said the increases in salary won't affect the overall 2017 payroll.

"In most places it's a pretty well-defined landscape," Bloom said, "and in total, where the group came in doesn't really affect us too much."

Bloom said the team's intent is to approach the process fairly, knowing there will be surprises.

"We always expect there's going to be some differences of opinion that we're going to have to resolve, and our approach to the process is we're going to be fair," Bloom said. "We're just trying to get a fair agreement done and get this all behind us so we can focus on spring training and focus on winning some ball games."

AROUND THE MAJORS: The Padres are close to signing first baseman Wil Myers to a six-year contract for more than $80 million, Fox Sports reported. The former Ray was a first-time All-Star last season. … Rightfielder Bryce Harper and the Nationals agreed to a $13,625,000, one-year deal, more than doubling his salary two years before he can become a free agent for the first time. … The Rockies and Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado agreed to a $29.5 million, two-year contract. … The Mariners agreed to terms with former Rays left-hander Drew Smyly on a $6.85 million deal, a raise from $3.75 million. … Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton got hefty raises and will make more than $11 million each after reaching agreements on one-year deals. … Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta agreed to a one-year deal for $15,637,500. … The Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer agreed on a $12.25 million contract.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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