ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Ryan Thompson went to a salary arbitration hearing with the Tampa Bay Rays with the sides just $200,000 apart.
Thompson asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million during a hearing before John Stout, Allen Ponak and Stephen Raymond.
The 30-year-old right-hander was 3-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 47 relief appearances last year, striking out 39 and walking 11 in 42 2/3 innings. He had a salary of $701,228 and was eligible for arbitration for the first time.
Poche asked for $1.3 million and was offered $1.175 million in the smallest gap among 33 players who exchanged figures with their teams on Jan. 13
Tampa Bay avoided hearings with three players by agreeing to multiyear deals: Left-hander Jeffrey Springs got $31 million over four years, infielder Yandy Diaz $24 million over three years and right-hander Pete Fairbanks $12 million over three years.
Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. Pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and pitcher 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 Miami.
A decision is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.