ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms for the 2019 season with three of their four arbitration-eligible players: third baseman Matt Duffy, right-handed relief pitcher Chaz Roe and catcher Mike Zunino. The Rays will proceed to arbitration with outfielder Tommy Pham.
Duffy, 27, has hit at least .290 in each of the two seasons (2015, 2018) he has qualified for the batting title. He hit .294/.361/.366 (148-for-503) with four home runs, 44 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 132 games (126 starts) last year after missing the entire 2017 season recovering from Achilles surgery. His .294 avg. ranked 12th in the American League, .361 on-base pct. was a career high and his 12 stolen bases tied a career high. According to FanGraphs, 25.3 pct. of his balls in play were line drives, sixth-highest in the AL. He was the Rays Opening Day third baseman last season, his third Opening Day roster and second start, and his season debut marked his first game in the majors since September 5, 2016.
Roe, 32, made a career-high 61 appearances last year, his first full major league season, and went 1-3 with a 3.58 ERA (50.1-IP, 20-ER) and 53 strikeouts. His 32 holds tied teammate José Alvarado for the AL lead and tied for third in franchise history, behind Joel Peralta in 2013 (41) and 2012 (37). According to FanGraphs, he threw his slider for 52.6 pct. of total pitches, fifth-highest rate in the majors (min. 50 IP). He held right-handed hitters to a .188/.253/.319 (26-for-138) line last season and has limited righties to a .192 avg. (71-for-370) over parts of six major league seasons.
Zunino, 27, was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a five-player trade following the season. He hit .201/.259/.410 (75-for-373) with 20 home runs and 44 RBI in 113 games (102 starts) last season, his second consecutive season with at least 20 homers and third overall. Over the last two seasons, his 45 home runs rank fourth among major league catchers behind Salvador Pérez (54), Gary Sánchez (51) and Yasmani Grandal (46). According to FanGraphs, since the start of the 2017 season he ranks sixth among major league catchers with 5.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). In addition, last season he was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at catcher. According to FanGraphs, he tied for first among AL catchers and tied for second among major league catchers last season with 12 Defensive Runs Saved.