The Rays offered arbitration to free agents Grant Balfour, Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, Randy Choate, Brad Hawpe, Joaquin Benoit and Chad Qualls. The Rays declined to offer arbitration to Dan Wheeler or Carlos Pena.

Offering a free agent arbitration is necessary if the Rays want to receive draft pick compensation if those free agents sign with another team. The risk is that the player could decide they will get more in arbitration than on the free agent market. If the player accepts the offer, the Rays could be stuck with a player they don’t want or at a price they don’t want to pay.

In the cases of Wheeler and Pena, both would have almost certainly accepted. The Rays may want both players back, but they don’t want to pay what either could have gotten in arbitration.

Balfour and Qualls could choose to accept arbitration and the Rays may be more than happy to have both back on one-year deals at a salary similar to what they made last year.

Crawford, Soriano and Choate will decline arbitration knowing they will get more money and years on the free agent market. And Benoit has already signed with the Tigers. Offering him arbitration is just a formality to make sure the Rays receive a compensation draft pick.


  • Terry Francona called Carl Crawford a “game changer.” [The Heater]
  • Peter Gammons calls Carl Crawford, the Red Sox’ “top target.” [NESN]
  • Brian Cashman is encouraging Derek Jeter to test the free agent waters…If talks turn sour, would a bitter Jeter be willing to be a part-time DH/SS for very little with the Rays just for a chance to stick it to the Yankees? [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Seth McClung lost his girl basketball coaching debut 90-14. []




  1. Beth says:

    If Jeter signed with the Rays he could live full time in his Davis Islands mansion and save on rent on the NYC apartment. Wouldn't that be worth something?

  2. td says:

    Great site.... But gotta disagree about Qualls. I dont think the Rays would be too happy if he accepted arb and they would be on the hook for around $5 million. I think it is safe to assume that Hawpe and Qualls agreed not to accept arb.

  3. Kevin says:

    Hawpe made something like $7M last year...why offer him arbitration?? They must know he will decline, right?

  4. Gus says:

    Is the arb deadline different for non-free agents like Upton? Would Upton be the rare case where his 2011 salary would go down in arbitration? His late season rally at the plate probably saved him some serious money.

    Also, do we know who won BJ's Brayser?

    • Michael says:

      Upton was worth more than his cost last year. Of course not if you believe that just looking at a player can tell you his value. But by looking at WAR, he was worth it.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      The deadline for offering non-free agents arbitration is December 2.

      And not sure about the BRayser. I'll check.


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