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Pham, Rays set for arb hearing; 3 others sign

Duffy, Roe, Zunino agree to one-year deals
MLB.com @juanctoribio

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tommy Pham and the Rays were unable to settle on a deal and will head to arbitration, but the club was able to come to an agreement with three of its four arbitration-eligible players on Friday. 

Infielder Matt Duffy, right-hander Chaz Roe and catcher Mike Zunino all settled on one-year contracts before Friday's 1 p.m. ET deadline. 

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tommy Pham and the Rays were unable to settle on a deal and will head to arbitration, but the club was able to come to an agreement with three of its four arbitration-eligible players on Friday. 

Infielder Matt Duffy, right-hander Chaz Roe and catcher Mike Zunino all settled on one-year contracts before Friday's 1 p.m. ET deadline. 

The Rays have not released any salary figures, but according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Zunino agreed to a $4.4 million deal -- which is up from the $2.97 million base salary he earned in 2018 -- plus incentives. The incentives include an increase of $17,500 for 60 games played and a similar bump if the catcher appears in 80 contests.

Zunino was acquired from Seattle on Nov. 8, and he is expected to be the starting catcher for the Rays, unless the club is able to pull off a trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Roe agreed to a $1.3 million contract, a source told MLB.com, which is up from the $720,000 figure he earned in 2018. Duffy, who has also been rumored in trade talks, entered his second year of arbitration and settled for $2.7 million (up from $930,000), according to The Athletic's Robert Murray.

Friday was the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to come to a settlement before heading to an arbitration hearing. Teams can still negotiate with players before the hearing, but Tampa Bay is one of the teams who won't be negotiating past the deadline.

Under current management, the Rays operate under the "file and trial" policy, which means that they no longer negotiate on one-year deals with the player. The team, however, will still remain open to the idea of a long-term contract.

Tampa Bay not coming to a settlement with Pham doesn't come as a surprise, as the outfielder has been outspoken in his quest for the best possible deal. Pham and his former team, the Cardinals, were unable to agree on a multiyear contract this past offseason, which resulted in Pham being eligible for arbitration for the first time in 2019.

Pham, who came over to the Rays in a trade with the Cardinals this past July, became Tampa Bay's most productive hitter over the last two months of the season and is expected to be a key piece to the lineup this season. The 30-year-old hit seven home runs and led the team with a 1.071 OPS in just 39 games. Pham ended the season with a 32-game on-base streak.

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays, Tommy Pham