Jason Adam Wins Arbitration Hearing Against Rays

Right-hander Jason Adam has won his arbitration hearing with the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter link).  Adam was seeking a $1.775MM salary for the 2023 season, while the Rays’ figure was $1.55MM.

2022 was Adam’s first season with the Rays, and the best season of his five-year MLB career.  The righty had a 1.56 ERA, 31.6% strikeout rate, and 7.2% walk rate over 63 1/3 innings out of Tampa Bay’s bullpen, and added two more scoreless innings during the Rays’ Wild Card Series with the Guardians.  That walk rate (while still above average) was basically the only one of Adam’s Statcast metrics that wasn’t ruby red, as his hard-contact, whiff rate, chase rate, and fastball spin rate were all at or near the top of the league.

It wasn’t entirely a breakout season, since Adam had delivered some quality numbers in his four previous MLB seasons, particularly with the Blue Jays in 2019 and with the Cubs in 2020.  However, some control problems limited Adam’s effectiveness, and he also had to make a recovery from a severe injury suffered in fluke fashion during pregame warmups at Triple-A in 2021.  Adam suffered a fracture and open dislocation of his left ankle, as well as severe ligament damage, but was able to return to the mound before the season was over.  The Cubs non-tendered Adam in the 2021-22 offseason, and he caught on with the Rays on a split contract.

Though Adam has appeared in the last five MLB seasons, he only had enough service time to become arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter — as a Super Two player, Adam has an extra of arb-eligibility and is controlled through the 2026 season.  The hearing victory gives the 31-year-old a bit of a higher salary boost as he begins his stint through the arb process, and Adam will certainly be in line for a notable raise next year if he continues his 2022 form, even if a lack of traditional counting stats might limit his overall earnings.  Adam actually led the Rays with eight saves last season, but was one of several late-game options in Tampa Bay’s multi-faceted bullpen.

Adam was one of seven players who didn’t reach an agreement with the Rays prior to the filing deadline, though the team cut down on its arbitration caseload by reaching multi-year extensions with Pete Fairbanks, Yandy Diaz, and Jeffrey Springs.  Topkin reported last week that Tampa also had some talks with Adam and his representatives about an extension, but obviously nothing was worked out before the two sides had to present their cases to the arbitration panel.  Of the three remaining Rays players who also went to hearings, no decisions have yet been released about Colin Poche, Harold Ramirez, or Ryan Thompson.

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