Arbitration Eligibles: Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are next in our 2013 Arbitration Eligibles series.  Matt Swartz's salary projections are below.

His first time through arbitration, Price matched but was unable to top the first-time starting pitcher arbitration record of $4.35MM held by Dontrelle Willis (or $4.365MM by Jered Weaver, if you count award bonuses).  His second time through, Weaver aimed for $8.8MM, but received $7.37MM after losing a hearing.  With a 20-win platform season and a possible Cy Young award, we project Price to fly well beyond $9MM and set a new second-time record.  The Rays control their ace through 2015, but other teams are presumably salivating in hopes of prying him loose before then. 

Niemann broke his right fibula in May, and upon returning in September quickly went down again with a shoulder issue.  The 29-year-old won't get much of a raise and should certainly be tendered a contract.  The Rays have the depth to trade Niemann, but it'd make sense to let him rebuild some value first.

The Rays acquired Roberts in July after the Diamondbacks designated him for assignment.  The versatile 32-year-old had a rough year, and with his salary potentially approaching $3MM the Rays may cut him loose.  Rodriguez is another non-tender candidate, though it's possible the Rays can find a taker via trade before the end of November.  The 27-year-old began the year the favorite at shortstop for the Rays, but was optioned to Triple-A by late August.  The Rays were Francisco's third stop in 2012, and he's another non-tender candidate.

Matt Swartz tells me Fuld is a unique case, in that players with such abbreviated platform seasons and light career work rarely make to arbitration and are tendered contracts.  Fuld's issue this year was wrist surgery.  It appears that Fuld would barely be above the league minimum salary if tendered a contract, so the fact that he's subject to the arbitration process doesn't mean much.

Joyce spent time at both corner outfield positions and continued to struggle against left-handed pitching.  He was fairly productive otherwise and should be retained.  Badenhop will stick around as well, as his low-walk, high-groundball mix was effective in 2012.   

If only Price, Niemann, Joyce, and Badenhop are retained, the Rays are looking at an estimated $16.8MM for four arbitration eligible players.

Matt Swartz's arbitration projections are available exclusively at MLB Trade Rumors.  To read more about his projection model, check out this series of posts.


23 Responses to Arbitration Eligibles: Tampa Bay Rays Leave a Reply

  1. vtadave 3 years ago

    Would be sad to see the Rays have to deal Price, but it appears inevitable. I don’t see it happening until next offseason unless they are out of the race come 7/31. I imagine he’d fetch an elite propect plus more.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      its too bad rays and jays are in the same division because they match up really nicely.

      A deal for price built around D’arnaud would be ideal for the rays, and jays need elite pitching

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        Absolutely correct. Jays could afford the prospects now for Price, then extend him and still have a deep system. Rays will end up hanging onto him another year, still can’t afford him and then end up getting less in return cause if they trade him even fewer fans will show up to watch them than already do…

        Then.. It’s hard to go lower than 30th in the league in attendance, unless the league adds another team…

      • You Know Who 3 years ago

        It could still happen if the jays are willing to pay the price of being in the same division.

    • I’m hoping the Rangers can make a deal for Price, but I’d be very hesitant to load up a team like the Rays with more talent.

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        Imagine Profar would have to be involved…

        • Texas has a lot to work with. Profar will not be traded.

          • vtadave 3 years ago

            Yeah guess the Rays could slot Olt at first base…

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            Price is the 3rd best pitcher in the AL, and top 5 in baseball, a lefty, and still has 3 more years of control. He is not going to be cheap, and for him there really won’t be any untouchables. Rays will probably look into trading him, but they won’t be taking garbage. They want 3-4 top prospects at minimum, and that is fair.

          • Are you under the assumption Profar is the only valuable piece the Rangers have?

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            He isn’t, but it depends on what their needs are. If they really want a ss prospect then they should demand him. Price is a terrific player, and profar is just a prospect. All comes down to what pieces the rays need.

  2. Otis26 3 years ago

    Myers, Hochevar, and W. Smith for Price. Waddya say? Signed, Dayton Moore.

    • FS54 3 years ago

      you are kidding, right?

    • rjc 3 years ago

      More like Myers, Escobar, and Perez. Then we can talk.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      HaHa. Not nearly enough. Myers is a decent prospect, but Hochevar is pretty much dead weight for the Rays, and Smith is a decent arm, but honestly he doesn’t project that high does he?
      Price will cost 3-4 top prospects. No way is 1 prospect enough to push a deal.

  3. Casey McMahon 3 years ago

    Price is not going anywhere soon. Shields would be traded before Price. I expect Price to be with the Rays at least 2 more years. Then we would have 1. Price 2. Hellboy 3. Cobb . 4. Niemann 5. Chris Archer

    • Casey McMahon 3 years ago

      Forgot to mention we still have Wade Davis , JP Howell , Matt Moore all with Starting experience and a farm system with a ton of great arms!

      • rjc 3 years ago

        While he did have a much better year in 2012, I would be getting very worried if we begin to have JP Howell start games.

    • FS54 3 years ago

      What happened to Hellickson and Moore?

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        he’s listed as #2

        • FS54 3 years ago

          Was not aware of his new nickname. Anyways, that does not excuse him from not listing Moore’s name in his supposed rotation.

          • hes been Hellboy since double-A ball, not a new nick

            I would agree its no excuse to not list MattyMo

          • FS54 3 years ago

            Baseball Reference usually lists their nicknames but I did not see his. Anyways, cool nickname.

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