The Rays settled with some of the arbitration eligible players. ($) Tyler Glasnow will earn $4 million; Yonny Chirinos, who is unlikely to have much of in impact as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, will earn $1.175. Joey Wendle settled for $2.25 million and Manuel Margot for $3.4 million.
They will go to arbitration with Ji-Man Choi (team - $1.85M, player - $2.45M) and Ryan Yarbrough (team - $2.3M, player - $3.1M). Yarbrough’s case will be interesting. DRB’s Darby Robinson wrote about this back when the baseball world was lamenting the Rays use of the opener as a way to tamp down pitcher salaries in arbitration, where counting stats like starts are valued, and Jared Ward wrote about it more recently. But the Rays offer to Yarbrough of $2.3 M doesn’t suggest that they have devalued him too much — it’s within the range estimated at MLB Trade Rumors, and close to the $2.05 million Tyler Glasnow got in his first year of arbitration, albeit coming off a season largely missed to injury. Of course the big question mark for all these arb cases will be how assessors look at the very short 2020 season, where innings pitched, starts, saves and wins will be down for every pitcher. Players already had limited, pro-rated salaries in 2020; will that short season suppress arbitration salaries going forward?
The Rays continue to seek talented international players; they have come to terms with 17 year-old Venezuelan shortstop Carlos Colmenarez, the fourth highest ranked international prospect per MLB.
Spring training is still scheduled for February. Marc Topkin reviews the many uncertainties, including the possibility of a delays to start the season ($)
And speaking of spring training, the Rays have started to issue invitations to major league camp. Here are four minor league pitchers we’ll get to see:
The Rays have invited four of their minor league players to major league spring training: left-handed pitchers Dietrich Enns and Kenny Rosenberg and right-handed pitchers Phoenix Sanders and Tyler Zombro.— Rays Communications (@RaysPR) January 16, 2021
As things stand now, the Rays hope to have fans in the stands when their season opens in April. The numbers would be limited - they are looking at admitting about 7,000 people per game ($)
St. Pete is beginning to evaluate proposals for the Tropicana Field site, with or without a baseball stadium ($)
Thinking of the late Don Zimmer on his birthday:
The late Don Zimmer born 90 years ago today. His serious beanings were recounted in cartoons on the backs of several of his @Topps cards. @SABRbbcards @nightowlcards @CardboardHistry @PostWarCards @VintageCardsOn1 @breakdowncards pic.twitter.com/bSnLGIhk97— George Bennett (@gbennettpost) January 17, 2021
Some changes to MLB.com Rays coverage. Farewell Juan Toribio, who leaves the Tampa Bay beat after covering the Rays for the Athletic and then MLB:
Some personal news: After three wonderful years covering the #Rays, I’ll be moving to Los Angeles to cover the #Dodgers for MLB dot com. I switch over next week and I'm so excited to get started and getting a chance to (virtually) meet everyone.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) January 15, 2021
Around the League
DJ LeMahieu signs a six year deal with the Yankees. ($) They have signed Corey Kluber as well (1 year, $11 million), a pitcher the Rays were reportedly pursuing.
What will be the impact of the shortened 2020 season on pitchers? Tom Verducci thinks the lack of innings in 2020 could have an especially big impact on teams with young starters.
Philadelphia is trying to improve a terrible bullpen. Will signing Archie Bradley help?
Fired Astros GM Jeff Luhnow seeks a new chapter....in Mexican soccer? ($)
See, baseball by spreadsheet works!($) Well, wins trades. Winning games is a different question.