Rays settle with 9 arbitration-eligibles

Right-hander Odorizzi does not come to terms with Tampa Bay

Rays settle with 9 arbitration-eligibles

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have agreed to terms for the 2017 season with nine of their 10 arbitration-eligible players.

That group included: Tim Beckham, Brad Boxberger, Xavier Cedeno, Alex Cobb, Corey Dickerson, Danny Farquhar, Kevin Kiermaier, Brad Miller and Erasmo Ramirez.

Jake Odorizzi did not come to terms with the team. That means he is likely to go to an arbitration hearing with the team.

"This is always a grueling week with a lot of spirited back and forth," said senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom. "And I think when you have 10 players who are arbitration-eligible, there's always a chance that you don't come to an agreement with somebody.

"We're happy to have agreements with the nine guys that we did agree with. And we understand that sometimes two sides see the world a little differently. And it's a good thing that there's a process in place to let a third party choose."

Odorizzi put together one of the best second halves of any starter in the American League last season, going 7-1 with a 2.71 ERA. The right-hander went 10-6 with a 3.69 ERA for the season, making him the only member of the starting rotation with a winning record.

Odorizzi's six strong innings

Unless Odorizzi and the team reach a long-term deal, club policy regarding arbitration dictates that they will proceed to an arbitration hearing. That means Odorizzi's side will come up with a salary figure it believes is fair, and the Rays will do the same, leaving it up to the three arbitrators to decide between the two figures. The Rays are 6-1 in arbitration hearings since principal owner Stu Sternberg's group assumed control of the team in 2005.

Drew Smyly, now with the Mariners, became the lone arbitration victor prior to the 2016 season.

Kiermaier has settled with Tampa Bay for a reported $2.975 million; Dickerson, $3.025 million; Beckham, $855,000; Cedeno, $1.3 million; Cobb, $4.2 million, Farquhar, $900,000; Miller, $3.57 million; Ramirez, $3.21 million; and Boxberger, $1.6 million. The Rays did not confirm those figures.

Bloom would not give many details when asked if there were any surprises. He did allow that there were "always things here or there that stand out to you."

"You don't necessarily know what the surprises are going to be," Bloom said. "But you expect some things aren't going to go exactly as planned. Some things may be smoother sailing; some things more be more difficult than expected. We always expect that there's going to be some differences of opinion that we're going to have to resolve.

"Our approach with the process is we're just trying to be fair. We're just trying to get a fair agreement done, and we're willing to stretch to do that and get this behind us so we can focus on Spring Training and focus on winning some ballgames."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com based in Tampa. Follow him on Twitter at @_wwchastain. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.