Colome, Dickerson among 7 avoiding arbitration with Rays
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By FRED GOODALL
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Closer Alex Colome and All-Star designated hitter/outfielder Corey Dickerson are among seven players who agreed to one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays, avoiding salary arbitration.
Infielders Matt Duffy and Brad Miller, outfielder Steven Souza, Jr., catcher Jesus Sucre and relief pitcher Dan Jennings also reached terms before Friday's deadline for players and teams to exchange proposed salaries for next season.
Pitcher Jake Odorizzi and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria are Tampa Bay's only arbitration-eligible players who didn't agree to deals. Odorizzi's case set to be settled by an arbiter for the second straight winter.
The 27-year-old right-hander won his arbitration case last February, receiving a raise from $520,700 to $4.1 million. He went 10-8 with a 4.14 ERA in 28 starts last season.
This time, Odorizzi is seeking $6.3 million while the Rays are offering $6.05 million.
Hechavarria, acquired in a trade from Miami in June, is asking for $5.9 million after making $4.35 million last season. He played solid defense while batting .257 with seven homers and 24 RBIs after the joining the Rays, who are offering $5.35 million for 2018.
Colome, an AL All-Star for the first time two years ago, received a whopping raise from $547,900 to $5.3 million after going 2-3 with a 3.24 ERA and a major league-leading 47 saves in 2017. He's the first pitcher in franchise history to lead the majors in saves, finishing with six more than the nearest contender.
Dickerson, meanwhile, was bumped up to $5.95 million after batting .282 with a career-best 27 homers last season, when he made $3.025 million and was the starting designated hitter for the AL in the all-star game.
The left-handed hitting slugger also posted career highs for games played (150), runs (84), hits (166), extra-base hits (64), total bases (288) and multihit games (51) in 2017.
Duffy will earn $930,000 - up from $545,300 a year ago, when he missed the entire season while recovering from Achilles surgery. He's appeared in just 21 games since being acquired in a trade that sent pitcher Matt Moore to the San Francisco Giants in August 2016. In addition to his salary, Duffy can earn $70,000 in bonuses based on plate appearances: $10,000 each for 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 375 and 400.
Miller hit a career-low .201 with nine homers and 40 RBIs in 110 games last season, a big drop from 2016, when he batted .243 with a career-best 30 homers and 81 RBIs in his first season in Tampa Bay.
Miller's salary climbs from $3.575 million to $4.5 million for 2018.
Souza, 28, is coming off the best season of his career after hitting .239 with personal bests of 148 games, 78 runs, 125 hits, 21 doubles, 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 84 walks and 16 stolen bases. He'll make $3.55 million this year, up from $546,700, and he can earn a $25,000 bonus for 500 plate appearances.
Jennings' salary increases from $1.4 million to $2.375 million. He pitched well after being obtained last summer in a trade from the Chicago White Sox, finishing 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA in a combined 77 appearances for the two teams.
Sucre made $630,000 in 2017, his first full season in the majors. The 29-year-old catcher hit .256 with seven homers and 29 RBIs in 62 games and received a raise to $925,000.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Updated January 13, 2018