The Rays were victorious in their arbitration hearing against Harold Ramírez, as first reported by The Associated Press. The DH/corner outfielder will be paid $3.8MM for the upcoming season. His camp had filed at $4.3MM.
Ramírez has been an effective rotational bat for Tampa Bay over the last two seasons. Acquired from the Cubs just before Opening Day in 2022, he hit .300/.343/.404 in his first year with the Rays. The righty hitter turned in an even better .313/.353/.460 slash with a career-best 12 home runs across 434 trips to the plate last season. He owns a .306/.348/.432 in a little under 900 plate appearances with Tampa Bay.
The 29-year-old isn’t a great defensive outfielder and saw the majority of his time at designated hitter a year ago. His lack of defensive value and slightly increasing salaries led Tampa Bay to float his name on the trade market earlier in the offseason. Nothing has come together to this point. Locking in his salary could make a trade moderately more appealing if the Rays continue to field offers during Spring Training, yet it’s also possible he sticks in Tampa Bay for a third season.
Ramírez has between four and five years of MLB service. He’ll be eligible for arbitration again next winter and is on track for free agency after the 2025 campaign, at which point he’ll be 31 years old. This is the second straight year in which Ramírez and the Rays went to a hearing. His camp won a $2.2MM salary (against a $1.9MM team figure) last offseason. They’re on the other end this time around. As the AP notes, the three players who went to a hearing this year after winning in arbitration last offseason — Ramírez, Jason Adam and Luis Arraez — all lost this winter.