The deadline for teams from around the league to offer arbitration to all of their eligible players will pass this upcoming Friday with the start of December.
The Tampa Bay Rays have 12 players on their current 40-man roster who are eligible for arbitration. Most of these players will be tendered a contract with little thought to it, but for a couple of others, the decision won’t be as easy.
MLB Trade Rumors released their annual arbitration estimates back in October and have the total of the Rays group amounting to $43.1M.
The players who will most certainly be tendered a contract are listed below:
- Jake Odorizzi - $6.5MM
- Corey Dickerson - $6.4MM
- Alex Colome - $5.5MM
- Steven Souza Jr - $3.6MM
- Dan Jennings - $2.5MM
- Brad Boxberger - $1.9MM
- Chase Whitley - $1.0MM
That leaves five players for the Rays make the tough choice with.
After a breakout season in 2016 in which he slugged 30 HR and moved all over the diamond. Unfortunately, he dealt with injuries for most of the 2017 season and when he was on the field, he struggled both offensive and defensively. He is estimated to make around $4.4MM in arbitration, which is a high sum for the Rays to gamble with.
The Rays made the surprise acquistion of Hechavarria towards the end of June, but he instantly made an impression with his dazzling defensive wizardry. His offensive potential eventually shined through as well and he was one of the hottest hitters on the team as the season came to a close. However, if that offensive explosion was just a mirage, can the Rays afford to pay Hech the $5.0MM he is estimated to make through arbitration?
After being a waiver acquisition early on 2015, Cedeno became one of the most dependable relivers on the team. During this past spring training though, something was a amiss and he began the year awfully and was ultimately placed on the disabled list, where he would most of the season until being activated in late September. He figures to make around $1.4MM through arbitration.
Will he be healthy? That’s the question that needs to be answered for Duffy. He has the potential to be on the Rays starting squad in 2018, but after dealing with a strenuous heel injury that has kept him out of major league action since September of 2016, should the Rays cut their losses or keep him for the relatively low cost of $900K he figures to make?
Acquired at the start of spring training this past season, Sucre surprisingly came in and won the backup catching spot. He had a fantastic start to the season and filled his role well. The Rays already seem keen on keeping him in 2018, as they let go of Curt Casali and left Nick Ciuffo off of the 40-man roster. However, are they willing to pay him $1.3MM just to be a backup?