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Rays approach arbitration deadline with many deals outstanding

Will any settle before tomorrow’s deadline?

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays have 11 players currently on the roster up for salary arbitration this off-season, and among those players only one has settled on a salary for 2024.

Do you know the player? Can you guess who it is?

That’s right, it’s Tyler Alexander, the longman lefty the Rays picked up from the Tigers when he was cut earlier this offseason. He agree to join Tampa Bay for $1.95 million in his second year of arbitration. He will be eligible once more before becoming a free agent in 2026.

Salary arbitration isn’t the problem it used to be, which required players to leave Spring Training to attend the hearings where the teams argue why their lower-than-desired salary is fair. Many former Rays like Tommy Pham even took offense during the process.

Now, at least, hearing before a judge occur from January 29 - February 16, and do not disrupt Spring Training once did.

Nevertheless, the Rays will have their work cut out for them if they do not settle many cases by tomorrow’s deadline. These are listed below, descending in order of service time (years.days), with salary amounts courtesy of MLBTradeRumors, which uses a model created by Matt Swartz.

Player (age, service time) — Projected Contract for 2024 (Arbitration round)

  • RHP Shawn Armstrong (33.3, 5.113) — $1,800,000 (ARB 3 of 3)
  • DH Harold Ramírez (29.3, 4.124) — $4,400,000 (ARB 2 of 3)
  • LHP Colin Poche (30.0, 4.114) — $2,100,000 (ARB 2 of 3)
  • RHP Aaron Civale (28.6, 4.058) — $4,600,000 (ARB 2 of 3)
  • RHP Zack Littell (28.3, 4.043) — $1,700,000 (ARB 2 of 3)
  • RHP Jason Adam (32.4, 3.132) — $3,000,000 (ARB 2 of 4)
  • OF Randy Arozarena (28.9, 3.129) — $9,000,000 (ARB 1 of 3)
  • RHP Drew Rasmussen (28.5, 3.111) — $2,200,000 (ARB 1 of 3)
  • 3B Isaac Paredes (24.9, 2.160) — $3,200,000 (ARB 1 of 4)
  • LHP Shane McClanahan (26.7, 2.158) — $3,600,000 (ARB 1 of 4)

As a reminder, as a rule of thumb, players eligible for three years of service time are generally valued at 40%, 60%, and 80% of the projected fair market value for the coming season.

Players eligible for four years of arbitration — also referred to as Super 2’s — are presumed to receive 20% of their fair market value in year one, then 40/60/80 for the remaining three. The Rays have two such players in 3B Isaac Paredes and injured ace LHP Shane McClanahan. Among the players listed above, only McClanahan is not expected to contribute in 2024 as he recovers from his Tommy John surgery.

The total value of the ten projected contracts above is $35.6 million.