Rays' Harold Ramirez, Angels' Luis Rengifo win salary arbitration cases

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Friday, February 17, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tampa BayRays outfielderHarold Ramirezand Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Rengifo won their salary arbitration cases on Thursday, while St. Louis Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley and Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Josh Rojas lost.

Ramirez will get $2.2 million rather than Tampa Bay's offer of $1.9 million, and Rengifo will receive $2.3 million instead of the Angels' $2 million proposal.

Helsley will earn $2.15 million rather than his $3 million request and Rojas will get $2,575,000 instead of his $2.9 million asking price.

Teams hold a 7-5 lead in decisions with five cases pending and two left to be argued.

First baseman Ji-Man Choi argued his case Thursday with Pittsburgh, asking for a raise from $3.2 million to $5.4 million while the team argued for $4.65 million.

Ramirez, 28, hit a career-best .300 last season with six homers and 58 RBIs. He had a $728,000 salary and was eligible for arbitration for the first time. His case was heard on Feb. 9 by John Woods, Melinda Gordon and Jules Bloch, and he became the second player to beat the Rays this year after reliever Jason Adam.

Rengifo, 25, set career bests last season with a .264 batting average, 17 homers and 52 RBIs, and he earned $730,000. He walked 17 times in 511 plate appearances, at 3.3% the lowest percentage among qualified hitters. His case was heard Monday by Jeanne Vonhof, Howard Edelman and Fredric Horowitz.

Helsley, a 28-year-old right-hander, was 9-1 with a 1.25 ERA and 19 saves in 23 chances over 54 relief appearances, earning $722,450. He struck out 94 and walked 20 in 64 innings. His case was heard Wednesday by Bloch, Woods and Jeanne Vonhof.

Rojas, also 28, set career bests with a .269 average and 56 RBIs while hitting nine home runs. He earned $730,900. Rojas' case was heard by Brian Keller, Mark Burstein and Scott Buchheit.

Choi, 31, hit .233 with 11 homers and 52 RBIs for Tampa Bay and made $3.2 million, then was traded to the Pirates in November for a minor leaguer. A decision is expected Friday from Jeanne Charles, Allen Ponak and Gordon.

Decisions also are pending for Angels infielder Gio Urshela and outfielder Hunter Renfroe, and for Rays pitchers Colin Poche and Ryan Thompson.

Seattle outfielderTeoscar Hernandezand Cardinals left-handerGenesis Cabreraare the last two players scheduled for hearings.