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Rays agree to terms with seven arbitration-eligible players

The Tampa Bay Rays announced on Friday that they have come to terms with all but two of its arbitration- eligible players. Pitcher Jake Odorizzi and infielder Adeiny Hechavarria will now head to an arbitration hearing after the players declined the team’s offer.

Seven of the nine Rays players who were eligible for the arbitration process — closer Alex Colome, outfielders Corey Dickerson and Steven Souza Jr., infielders Matt Duffy and Brad Miller, reliever Dan Jennings, and catcher Jesus Sucre — accepted contract offers before the 1 p.m. deadline on Friday.

The Rays organization will take a “file-and-trial” approach with Odorizzi and Hechavarria, meaning that the team will not negotiate with either player or their representatives prior to the hearing date unless it is for the purposes of a long-term contract.

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Colomé, who has been a frequent topic of off-season trade rumors, got the biggest bump in salary, going from $547,000 in 2017 to $5.3 million in 2018. Colomé, 29, was 2-3 with a 2.34 ERA with a league-leading 47 saves.

Dickerson, who was named an All-Star in 2017, was another big winner of the day after agreeing to a $5.95 million deal — a $2.9 million raise from last season– after batting .282 while setting career highs in home runs (27), hits (166), and runs (84) in 150 games.

Souza agreed to a one-year, $3.55 million deal in his first year of eligibility. Souza had a breakout season in 2017 after posting career-highs in home runs (30), RBI (78), stolen bases (16), doubles (21) and runs (78).

Miller will make $4.5 million next season. The terms for Sucre, Jennings and Duffy were not disclosed.

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