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Randy Arozarena expected to get big pay raise heading into 2023

Friday is the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to turn in their contract offers for the upcoming season.
Of the Rays' 14 arbitration-eligible players, outfielder Randy Arozarena is expected to get the biggest bump in salary.
Of the Rays' 14 arbitration-eligible players, outfielder Randy Arozarena is expected to get the biggest bump in salary. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Jan. 11

Randy Arozarena is going to get a big pay raise. The Rays and the slugger just have to figure out how big a raise he will get in 2023.

Friday is the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to turn in their contract offers for the upcoming season. Arozarena, who just made the cutoff for his first year of arbitration eligibility, is the one of the Rays’ 14 arbitration-eligible players who likely will get the biggest bump.

Arozarena made $716,000 last season. According to MLBTradeRumors.com, whose arbitration projections each year are pretty spot on, the 27-year-old outfielder is set to make $4 million.

Players present what they believe they should be paid, and the team offers what it thinks is fair and submit it to the league. Usually the sides come to an agreement before the deadline. Some will not, but the sides still have until the time of their hearing to reach an agreement. The Rays have one of the largest arbitration classes in baseball.

Arozarena is one of the two percent of “young” players who earned an extra year of arbitration eligibility, referred to as a Super Two player, because he was called up early in his rookie season. His salary boost will come from an 8.0 WAR over his first four seasons in the big leagues. He’s a career .269/.344/.463 hitter with an .807 OPS and a 130 OPS+. He has 48 career homers, not including his 11 postseason homers. Four of those came in the 2020 American League Championship Series, when Arozarena was named MVP.

Along with Arozarena, infielder Yandy Diaz and pitcher Jeffrey Springs should see significant bumps in their paychecks this season. Diaz, who is in his second year of arbitration eligibility, hit nine homers with an .824 OPS last season for a 3.5 WAR. He made $2.8 million in 2022 and is projected to jump up to $5.4 million this year.

Springs, 30, made 25 starts for the Rays last season and eight appearances in relief. He went 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA, striking out 144 batters over 135-1/3 innings. The lefty made $716,000 last year and is projected to get a $3 million contract for 2023.

The other Rays players who will be looking to settle on contracts are pitchers Jason Adam (projected to get $1.9 million), Shawn Armstrong ($1.3 million), Jalen Beeks ($1.2 million), Yonny Chirinos ($1.6 million), Pete Fairbanks ($1.5 million), Andrew Kittredge ($2 million), Colin Poche ($1.7 million), and Ryan Thompson ($1.1 million). Catchers Christian Bethancourt ($1.6 million) and Francisco Mejia ($2.2 million) also are arbitration eligible. So is infielder Harold Ramirez ($2.1 million).

The Rays are projected to spend just over $33 million on their arbitration-eligible players. Arbitration hearings, in which a panel hears the case for each side, are set for Jan. 30 to Feb. 17 this year.

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