ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays crossed off the first of six potential arbitration cases, agreeing Tuesday to a one-year deal with reliever Joel Peralta for $2.175 million.
Peralta, 35, more than doubled his $925,000 salary after an impressive first season with the Rays, going 3-4 with six saves and a 2.93 ERA over 672/3 mostly high-leverage innings in 71 games. The right-hander posted a major-league best .072 average against the first batters he faced (5-for-69), and his .155 average vs. lefties ranked second among relievers.
Agent Mark Gilling said Peralta was "very pleased" to have his contract settled. "Joel felt really comfortable there last year, he really appreciated the manager and the team and he had a relationship with Andrew (Friedman, executive VP)," Gilling said. "He wanted to get this done."
The five Rays remaining in arbitration are relievers Burke Badenhop and J.P. Howell, starters Jeff Niemann and David Price and centerfielder B.J. Upton.
Ex-Ray Hall retires
Catcher Toby Hall, who spent parts of seven seasons with the Rays, has decided to retire. Hall, 36, last played in the majors in 2008, with the White Sox. He battled shoulder problems in 2009-10 and played last season in the independent Atlantic League.
Hall, whose 586 games played are fifth most in Rays history and tops among catchers, will focus on family and his charitable foundation for now but eventually would like to get into coaching.
"It's been a great journey," said Hall, who still lives in the Tampa Bay area. "It's time to close this door and open a new one."
Around the majors
METS: The cash-strapped club is cutting its Gulf Coast League team in Port St. Lucie, trimming its farm clubs to eight.
PHILLIES: Former general manager Ed Wade was hired as a special consultant.
ROCKIES: Third baseman Casey Blake agreed to terms on a one-year contract.
ROYALS: Free-agent shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, a former Kansas City starter, agreed to a one-year deal to be a backup.
Information from Times wires was used in this report. Marc Topkin can be reached at email@example.com.