As detailed in Sunday's Times, the large number of arbitration eligible players the Rays may have, and the corresponding salaries they will get, compound the challenge they face this off-season in trying to improve the team without increase the payroll.
The mlbtraderumors.com site reported today the cutoff for Super 2 arbitration eligibility is expected to be within 2.127 and 2.131 days of service time, which if correct would mean that OF Kevin Kiermaier, 2.131, would qualify. If so, Kiermaier would be in line for a raise to around $3-million for 2017 rather than getting $550,000 or so, and would would make more over each of the next three seasons with that as his base as he now would have four years of eligibility rather than three. RHP Danny Farquhar also would be eligible, RHP Chase Whitley (2.125) could fall just short.
Mlbtraderumors.com also released its projected arbitration salaries for each of the eligible players, and there is model is usually pretty good, though in their list of Rays players they seem to be a little light on Kiermaier and RHP Brad Boxberger, and maybe on Alex Cobb, who made $4-million each of the last two seasons when not pitching due to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.
Here are the mlbtraderumors.com projections, with service time shown, first-time eligibles in bold:
LHP Drew Smyly (4.154), $6,900,000
RHP Jake Odorizzi (3.042), $4,600,000
RHP Alex Cobb (5.061), $4,000,000
INF Brad Miller (3.094), $3,800,000
RHP Erasmo Ramirez (3.158), $3,500,000
OF Corey Dickerson (3.101), $3,400,000
*OF Kevin Kiermaier (2.131), $2,100,000
RHP Brad Boxberger (3.109), $1,500,000
LHP Xavier Cedeno (3.060), $1,200,000
C Bobby Wilson (5.057), $1,100,000
*RHP Danny Farquhar (2.168), $1,100,000
* Qualifies as a Super 2 eligible; the top 22 percent of players between 2 and 3 yrars of service time.