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Rays part ways with Cedeno, tender contracts to nine at deadline

The Rays will part ways with reliever Xavier Cedeno after tendering contracts to nine of their 10 remaining arbitration-eligible players ahead of Friday’s non-tender deadline.

After much speculation, the Tampa Bay Rays tendered contracts to all of their arbitration-eligible players except left left-hander Xavier Cedeno at the non-tender deadline on Friday. The left-handed Cedeno was expected to make a $1.4 million next season, according to Matt Swartz at MLB Trade Rumors.

With the trade of reliever Brad Boxberger on Thursday and Chase Whitley being claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Braves on Friday, the Rays had 10 players left on their 40-man roster who were arbitration eligible for the 2018 season. The three moves are expected to save the Rays a little over $4 million in payroll next season.

Offers extended to nine

The Rays had a tough decision to make with three of its middle infielders —Adeiny Hechavarria, Miller and Matt Duffy— likely to receive a raise through the arbitration process. Hechavarria, who was brought in from the Marlins at last season’s trade deadline, is expected to make $5 million next season. While he was one of the better defenders in the league, his .261 BA, 8 HR, 30 RBI at the plate made his potential price tag an issue. Miller, who is expected to earn around $4.4 million next year, is coming off of a disappointing season in which his home runs dropped from 30, in 2015, to nine in 2016. He also battled injuries, having missed 42 games with a core muscle tear that ultimately led to surgery.

Duffy did not play in 2017 because of a series of foot injuries but was a relatively inexpensive decision after being forecast to make just under $1 million.

Closer Alex Colome was expected to get the biggest raise of any Rays player, jumping from $547,000 to $5.5 million in his first year of eligibility, according to MLBTR. The 28-year-old righty has been a hot topic of trade talks this offseason after notching a league-leading 47 saves last season.

Starter Jake Odorizzi, another frequent name on the trade market, could see a salary bump from $4.1 to $6.5 million nest season. Others tendered on Friday and their expected salaries include: DH/OF Corey Dickerson ($6.4 million), OF Steven Souza Jr. ($3.6M), C Jesus Sucre ($1.3M) and reliever Dan Jennings ($2.5M).

Once tendered, eligible players can accept the team’s offer or enter into the arbitration process.  Arbitration-eligible are those players that do not have a guaranteed contract with less than six years of big league service time. Players that are not tendered become unrestricted free agents and are able to sign with any Major League team.

Tampa Bay currently has 37 players assigned to the 40-man roster.

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