Rays avoid arbitration with four players
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to one- year contracts with outfielders Sam Fuld and Matt Joyce, pitcher Jeff Niemann and infielder Ryan Roberts, thus avoiding arbitration with all four players.
Fuld will earn $725,000 in 2013. He missed the first 96 games of last season while recovering from right wrist surgery. Over two seasons with the Rays, the 31-year-old outfielder has hit .244 with three home runs, 32 RBI and 27 stolen bases in 149 games.
Joyce, 28, will make $2.45 million this season, his sixth in the majors and fifth in Tampa Bay. Joyce hit .241 with 17 homers and 59 RBI in 124 games last season. The Florida native is a career .254 hitter with 61 home runs and 214 RBI in 445 games.
Niemann, the fourth overall pick in the 2004 amateur draft, is set to make $3 million in 2013. The 29-year-old right-hander spent 3 1/2 months on the disabled list last season due to a fractured right fibula, but managed to go 2-3 with a 3.08 earned run average over eight starts.
In five major-league seasons, all with the Rays, Niemann owns a 40-26 record with a 4.08 ERA in 97 games (92 starts).
Roberts, 32, will earn $2.95 million plus incentives. Roberts was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 24 last season and hit .235 with 12 homers and 52 RBI in 143 games between Arizona and Tampa Bay.
The Texas native is a career .245 hitter with 41 home runs and 152 RBI in 450 games over parts of seven season with Toronto, Texas, Arizona and Tampa Bay.
01/18 13:46:33 ET