Yankees sign Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard to minor league contracts

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According to Sweeney Murti of WFAN, the Yankees have signed Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard to minor league contracts. They’ll both get invites to spring training.

The oft-injured Chavez has played in a grand total of 154 games since the start of the 2007 season, but worked out for a number of teams this winter, including the Dodgers and the Blue Jays. The 33-year-old batted .234/.276/.333 with one home run and 10 RBI over 123 plate appearances with the A’s last season, but didn’t play another game in the big leagues after going on the disabled list with neck spasms in May. It’s hard to see a fit for the former Gold Glover, even if he’s healthy.

Belliard, who turns 36 in April, was released by the Dodgers last September after batting just .216/.295/.327 with two home runs and 19 RBI over 185 plate appearances. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that Belliard would earn a base salary of $825,000 plus incentives if he makes the team, but he’ll have to beat out Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena in order to win a roster spot.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.