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Ray's Arozarena, McClanahan agree to contracts, avoid arbitration

Tampa Bay Rays Randy Arozarena - The Canadian Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Slugging outfielder Randy Arozarena and injured ace Shane McClanahan were among eight players who agreed to contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday and avoided arbitration.

Right-hander Jason Adam and designated hitter/outfielder Harold Ramírez remained on track for hearings next month. Tampa Bay went to four hearings last year, beating left-hander Colin Poche and right-hander Ryan Thompson, and losing to Ramírez and Adam.

Adam is seeking $3.25 million, while the Rays countered at $2.7 million. The reliever made $1,775,000 last season.

Ramírez asked for $4.3 million, and Tampa Bay offered $3.8 million. He got $2.2 million in 2023 after winning his arbitration case.

Tampa Bay also signed Japanese right-hander Naoyuki Uwasawa to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training next month. Uwasawa went 9-9 with a 2.96 ERA with Nippon Ham last season.

Arozarena, an AL All-Star last year, will get $8.1 million in 2024, up from $4.15 million last season. He hit .254 with 23 homers, 83 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.

McClanahan reached a $7.2 million, two-year deal that pays $3.6 million annually. He had his second Tommy John surgery on Aug. 21 and is not expected back until 2025. The left-hander went 11-2 with 3.29 ERA in 21 starts last season.

Also agreeing to one-year contracts were right-handers Aaron Civale ($4.9 million), Shawn Armstrong ($2.05 million), Zack Littell ($1.85 million) and Drew Rasmussen ($1,865,000), Poche ($2,375,000), and infielder Isaac Paredes ($3.4 million).

Rasmussen will start the season on the injured list after hybrid internal brace surgery on his right elbow in July. He has had a pair of Tommy John surgeries.