Rays sign 4 arbitration-eligible players to 1-year deals
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to one-year contracts with four of their five remaining players in salary arbitration, leaving pitcher Drew Smyly as the only one set for a hearing
Smyly went 5-2 with a 3.11 ERA last season, when injuries limited him to 12 starts. The left-hander made $2.65 million in 2015 and is seeking a raise to $3.75 million, while the Rays have offered $3.2 million.
''It's disappointing when we don't reach an agreement before the filing date, but in the case of Drew there was honest effort on both sides, there was constructive dialogue on both sides, we just failed to find common ground, and that's where the arbitrators could come into play,'' Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said Friday.
''I'm confident it won't alter our relationship with Drew or take away his focus on having a great season this year,'' Silverman added. ''It's just a reality. When you look at having 10 cases, having one or two that go to a hearing is probably the expected outcome.''
First baseman Logan Morrison, right-hander Erasmo Ramirez and catchers Hank Conger and Rene Rivera all agreed to one-year deals Friday.
Meanwhile, second baseman Logan Forsythe received a $10.25 million, two-year contract with a team option for 2018. The deal includes a $2.5 million signing bonus, with $750,000 payable April 1, $750,000 on June 1 and $1 million on Aug. 1. He gets salaries of $1 million in 2016, $5.75 million in 2017 and $8.5 million or a $1 million buyout in 2018.
The option can escalate to up to $11 million based on plate appearances, with Forsythe earning $500,000 for making 550 and 600 plate appearances this year, another $500,000 for 550 and 600 in 2017 and another $500,000 for a 1,100 plate appearances for 2016 and 2017 combined.
Morrison will earn $4.2 million and a $25,000 bonus for 500 plate appearances, up from $2,725,000 last season in Seattle. Ramirez received a raise from $522,800 in 2015 to $2,375,000, and can earn an additional $25,000 for 25 starts.
Rivera's salary increases from $1.2 million to $1.7 million, and Conger's from $1,075,000 to $1.5 million.
The Rays settled with pitchers Alex Cobb and Jake McGee and outfielders Desmond Jennings and Brandon Guyer on Thursday.