ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Jason Adam became the fourth Tampa Bay player to go to a salary arbitration hearing this year, asking a panel for $1,775,000 on Friday while the Rays argued for $1.55 million.
Houston pitcher Cristian Javier avoided a hearing by agreeing to a $64 million, five-year contract, and Philadelphia reliever José Alvarado got a $3.45 million, one-year deal.
Adam was 2-3 with a career-low 1.56 ERA and a career-best eight saves in 67 relief appearances, striking out 75 and walking 17 in 63 1/3 innings. He earned $1.15 million.
A decision is expected Saturday from the panel that heard Adam’s case.
Tampa Bay also is awaiting decisions in the cases of relievers Ryan Thompson ($1.2 million vs. $1 million) and Colin Poche ($1.3 million vs. $1,175,000) and outfielder Harold Ramirez ($2.2 million vs. ($1.9 million). Those decisions are being held for later cases to be argued or settled.
Teams have won three of five decisions: 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 Miami.
A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.
Javier gets a $2 million signing bonus, payable within 30 days of the deal’s approval by the commissioner’s office, and salaries of $3 million this season, $7 million in 2024, $10 million in 2025 and $21 million in each of the following two years.
His salaries in the final two years can increase based on Cy Young Award voting, by up to $6 million in 2026 and $8 million in 2027. He would get a $2 million boost for each first-place finish, $1 million for second and $500,000 for third through fifth,
Javier has the right to block trades to 10 teams without his approval in 2026 and 2027.
A 25-year-old right-hander, Javier went 11-9 with a 2.54 ERA in 25 starts and five relief appearances last year, striking out 198 and walking 52 in 148 2/3 innings. He set career bests for wins, ERA, strikeouts and innings.
Javier won both his postseason starts, pitching 11 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series against the Yankees and Game 4 of the World Series against Philadelphia.
He started a pair of no-hitters, pitching seven innings at the Yankees on June 25 and six innings in the game at the Phillies — just the second no-hitter in World Series history.
Javier had asked for $3.5 million in arbitration and had been offered $3 million. He made $749,100 last year.
New Houston general manager Dana Brown said Thursday that he’s als attempting to negotiate a long-term deal with outfielder Kyle Tucker, who was awarded the team’s $5 million offer Thursday rather than his $7.5 million request.
Brown said he also is trying to reach long-term deals with second baseman Jose Altuve and third baseman Alex Bregman, whose contracts expire after the 2024 season.
Alvarado went 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA and two saves in 59 relief appearances. He had a 5.56 ERA in 12 postseason appearances for the NL champions, getting the win in the Game 5 pennant-clincher against San Diego. Alvarado failed to hold a one-run lead in the sixth inning of World Series Game 6, relieving Zack Wheeler with two on and giving up a long three-run homer to Houston’s Yordan Alvarez. The Astros went on to a 4-1 victory that won the title.
Alvarado had filed for $3.7 million and the Phillies’ $3.2 million.
Ten players remain scheduled for hearings, which run through Feb. 17, including Philadelphia reliever Seranthony Domínguez.
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