ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Thompson went to arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, while Miami’s Jon Berti reached a deal with the Marlins for $2,125,000 that avoided a hearing.
Berti, an infielder and outfielder, gets a $2.1 million salary this year under an agreement reached before the scheduled start of Monday’s hearing. The deal includes a $3.5 million team option for 2024 with a $25,000 buyout, and the option price could escalate by $625,000 based on plate appearances this year: $125,000 each for 400, 450, 500, 525 and 550.
Berti hit .240 with four homers, 28 RBIs and a major league-leading 41 stolen bases. He played second base, shortstop, third, left field and center. Berti had a $1.2 million base salary and earned $60,000 in performance bonuses.
He had asked for $2.3 million and the Marlins had submitted $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged on Jan. 13.
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.
Rays right-hander Jason Adam, left-hander Colin Poche and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.
Poche asked for $1.3 million and was offered $1,175,000 in the smallest gap among 33 players who exchanged figures with their teams on Jan. 13
Tampa Bay had avoided hearings with three players by agreeing to multiyear deals: Left-hander Jeffrey Springs got $31 million over four years, infielder Yandy Díaz $24 million over three years and right-hander Pete Fairbanks $12 million over three years.
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 Jesús Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.
A decision is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.
Nineteen additional players are eligible for arbitration. Among them, Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.
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