Rays Avoid Arbitration With Seven, Odo and Hech Unable To Reach Deals

Colome Gets Biggest Pay Hike In 2018

Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

The deadline to exchange figures for arbitration came and went Friday afternoon with the Tampa Bay Rays reaching agreement with seven of their nine arbitration eligible players. For more on the arbitration process check out MLB Trade Rumors (here and here).  They did not reach agreement with Jake Odorizzi or Adeiny Hechavarria.

The Rays have long been a team that has taken the “file and trial” approach to free agency. Essentially, when a player and the Rays cannot reach an agreement on the upcoming years salary, the two sides submit the arbitration figures and proceed to the hearing (long-term extensions can still be negotiated).  Now, it appears most if not all teams are adopting the same approach (MLB Trade Rumors).

The bullet items below detail the players service time (year.days), agreed upon 2018 salary, and  MLB Trade Rumors projected arbitration salary. Once the contracts are verified by the Rays this post will be updated.

Rays Arbitration History:

The Rays had are 6-2 in arbitration cases since Stu Sternberg took over the franchise in 2005. After winning their first six cases they have dropped their most recent two. In 2016 they were on the wrong side of the decision with left handed pitcher Drew Smyly. Smyly was awarded $3.75MM  (offered $3.2MM). In 2017, Jake Odorizzi took his case to the arbitrator and was awarded $4.1MM while the Rays had offered just $3.85MM.

Hat tip to Adam Sanford (Twitter) of Draysbay who dug through the internet and found the six victories in an ESPN.com story. 

“Tampa Bay had prevailed over pitcher Esteban Yan (2002), catchers Josh Paul(2006 and 2007) and Dioner Navarro (2009), outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. (2010) and pitcher Jeff Niemann (2012).” (the sixth was Willy Aybar in 2009 h/t to Adam Sanford)



I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.