Steven Souza, Jr. sends some shade to the Rays

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The Rays surprised the baseball world in February when the club designated outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. Dickerson was coming off an All-Star season in which he hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs and 62 RBI in 629 plate appearances. He and the Rays had avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.95 million salary, but apparently that was too expensive for the Rays, who ended up trading him to the Pirates shortly after DFAing him. The Rays also traded outfielder Steven Souza, Jr. to the Diamondbacks around the same time as the club continued to shed payroll.

Dickerson went 3-for-5 with a two-run double in Tuesday’s 8-5 win over the Cubs for the Pirates. During the game, Souza tweeted about Dickerson:

That seems like a bit of shade to their former club. After Tuesday’s action, Dickerson is batting .342/.359/.605 with a home run, nine RBI, and eight runs scored in 39 plate appearances for the Buccos.

Souza is still on the mend after straining his right pectoral muscle late in spring training, so he has yet to debut as a Diamondback.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.