The Tampa Bay Rays have come to the agreement with four players today, Xavier Cedeno, Kevin Kiermaier, Tim Beckham and Corey Dickerson, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. With those agreements, those players have avoided arbitration.
The outfielders Kiermaier ($2.975 million) and Dickerson ($3.05 mil) will cost the Rays a combined $6 million in 2017, after both players turned in decent 2016 seasons for the club. Kiermaier slashed .246/.331/.410 last season, while adding an impressive 9.7% BB and 21 stolen bases, as he continued to be an excellent on-base presence for the Rays in 2016.
Dickerson had a similar line, .245/.293/.469, but the former Colorado Rockies outfielder flexed his muscles smashing 24 home runs and driving in 70 runs, while registering a mammoth .221 ISO in 2016. If the Rays could’ve had more consistent base runners, Dickerson could have easily driven them in with his power.
Former 2008 first-overall pick Beckham has floundered since arriving in the majors in 2013, but has been able to find playing time as a utility player in Tampa Bay. He and the Rays settled at $885,000 for 2017, which would be great value for the Rays for a first round pick, now Beckham just has to start performing like a top pick.
He is only a 26-year-old but so far, he has shown zero patience at the plate, with a career strikeout percentage of 29.2%, while slashing .247/.300/.434 with a .349 BABIP. So, when Beckham puts the ball in play, he is batting almost .350, however he spent almost a 1/3 of at bats whiffing in 2016.
Xavier Cedeno appeared in 54 games for the Rays last season, posting a 3.70 ERA which was solid but a almost a one and half higher than his 2.35 ERA he had last season splitting time between Tampa Bay and Washington. However, the 30-year-old right-handed reliever did increase his K/9 from a pedestrian 6.43 to 9.36 from 2014 to 2016. Cedeno and the Rays agreed to a $1.3 million deal, giving the Rays a potential setup arm to closer Alex Colome in 2017.null