Soto, Alonso, Guerrero get big deals, avoid arbitration

Getty Images
0 Comments

NEW YORK — Juan Soto, Pete Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached big-money agreements on one-year contracts that avoided salary arbitration.

Soto got a $23 million deal with San Diego, tied for the fourth-highest one-year contract among arbitration-eligible players. Shohei Ohtani set the record when the two-way star agreed last fall to a $30 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

Soto also trailed Mookie Betts ($27 million with Boston in 2020) and Nolan Arenado ($26 million with Colorado in 2019), and he matched Josh Donaldson’s $23 million with Toronto in 2018.

In addition to the deal with the outfielder, San Diego also reached a $14.1 million, one-year agreement with Josh Hader, the largest salary for an arbitration-eligible relief pitcher.

The high-spending New York Mets struck a $14.5 million deal with Alonso, who tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs last season. The first baseman nearly doubled his $7.4 million salary.

Guerrero agreed to the same figure with Toronto, the first baseman increasing his salary from $7.9 million.

Left-hander Julio Urías settled with the Los Angeles Dodgers at $14.25 million, first baseman Rhys Hoskins with NL champion Philadelphia at $12 million, two-time All-Star right-hander Shane Bieber with Cleveland at $10.01 million and left-hander Jordan Montgomery with St. Louis at $10 million.

Minnesota right-hander Chris Paddack, recovering from Tommy John surgery in May, agreed to a $12.5 million, three-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal is subject to a successful physical. Paddack gets $2.5 million in each of the next two seasons and $7.5 million in 2025.

For players and teams who fail to strike deals, arguments before three-person panels will be scheduled for Jan. 30 to Feb. 17 in St. Petersburg, Florida. They will be the first in-person hearings since 2020, just before the pandemic.

Teams have won the majority of decisions for three straight years and lead players 334-251 since arbitration started in 1974.

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

tampa bay rays
Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

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.