Rays sign Pete Fairbanks to an extension

The Rays announced on Friday afternoon that they had signed a reliever Fairbanks House for three years with a club option in 2026. The deal buys out his remaining three seasons of arbitration eligibility, while the club option covers what would have been his first season with a free agent.

Fairbanks, a Republik Sports client, is said to be guaranteed $12 million over the next three seasons (including a $1 million buyout on the 2026 option). Fairbanks will receive $3.666 million annually between 2023-25, while the option comes with a base value of $7 million. The deal also contains various incentives and escalators that could amount to a maximum of $24.6 million over four seasons.

Still yet to settle on a salary for the upcoming season, Fairbanks and the Rays applied for the $1.9 million figure the first time through the arbitration process, while the team responded with $1.5 million. Fairbanks would have had another pair of raises in 2024 and 2025, but those salaries are now flat. In exchange for a guarantee he can err on the high end of what he might earn from year to year, he will give the Fairbanks Rays control of his first free agent campaign – his 32nd season.

Acquired from the Rangers in a direct swap for outfielder/outfielder Nick Solak back in 2019, the 29-year-old Fairbanks has become one of the Rays’ top late-season options. Tampa Bay doesn’t usually post a single closer set, but Fairbanks is among the favorites to lead the club in tackles during the upcoming season. Over the past three years, he’s hit a 2.70 ERA with a 33.8% strikeout rate and a 9.7% walk rate in 93 1/3 innings pitched.

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Injuries prevented Fairbanks from working a full roster innings over 162 games. In 2021, he made it to the injured list twice with shoulder problems—first a rotator cuff strain, then a bout with inflammation—losing nearly a month each time. He missed more than three months of the 2022 season due to a muscle strain.

Although there are some durability concerns, Fairbanks’ 2022 campaign, in particular, illustrates the potentially dominant arm the Rays lock in in this deal. Fairbanks averaged 99.2 mph on his heater as he cruised to a 1.13 ERA with a comical strikeout rate of 43.7%, a great walk rate of 3.4% and a ground ball rate of 53.3% well above average. He also posted a swing strike rate of 17% that ranked 16th out of 546 pitchers throwing at least 20 innings in 2022. Fairbanks allowed no runs over his final 22 innings of the season.

It’s the second multi-year extension this week for the Rays, who traded arbitration numbers with a whopping seven players two weeks ago on swap day. Southpaw Jeffrey Springs She agreed to a four-year, $31 million contract that bought two seasons of arbitration and two years as a free agent earlier in the week. The Rays, like many other clubs, have taken a file-and-trial approach to arbitration in recent years – effectively breaking off talks on one-year deals once numbers have been exchanged. These clubs will usually remain open to working out multi-year arrangements if the player is suitable, otherwise an arbitration hearing is the typical outcome.

The Rays still have five other players with unresolved issues. player Yandy Diaz (Seeking $6.3 million vs. the Rays’ $5.5 million), First baseman/outside player Harold Ramirez ($2.2 million vs. $1.9 million), left-handed Colin Butch ($1.3 million vs. $1.175 million), right Ryan Thompson ($1.2 million vs. $1 million) And correct Jason Adam ($1.775 million vs. $1.55 million) All numbers were exchanged with the team on January 13 after terms could not be reached on one year’s salary number.

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With a recent string of extensions over the past year or more — Wander Franco, Tyler Glasnow, Manuel Margot, and Springs have also agreed to multi-year deals — and the Rays signing Zach Eflin to a three-year contract, Tampa Bay is in the rare position of getting a fair amount The money is already on the books after two years. The Rays already have $65.666 million guaranteed for seven players in the 2024 campaign, and that’s before factoring in what is currently slated to be 13 arbitration-eligible players, two lower-league players to round out the group, and of course any upcoming additions via trade or free agency over the next 12 months. or so.

The Rays have never opened a season with a higher payroll total than last year’s $83.8 million total. That won’t change in 2023, barring an unexpected late addition to the roster, but barring a trade or major deals, it looks like locks to record a new franchise number on the player payroll in 2024. And with Diaz, Ramirez, Bosh, Thompson and Adam all still Unsettled, Tampa Bay could add a few guaranteed salaries to that ledger by entering into additional multiyear agreements with the currently high-profile members of their arbitration class.

ESPN’s Jeff Bassin He was the first to report that Rays and Fairbanks agreed to a three-year, $12 million guarantee with a club option for a fourth year. Joel Sherman from the New York Post You mentioned the underlying value of the option and acquisition. Mark Tobkin affiliate Tampa Bay Times I reported the maximum contract value and specific salary details.

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Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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