Rays, postseason star Randy Arozarena discuss contract extension ahead of MLB Opening Day, per report

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Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena ascended to stardom in quick fashion last October, hitting .377/.442/.831 with 10 home runs in 20 playoff games. Now, it appears the Rays have interest in ensuring Arozrena will be around for the Octobers to come.

The Rays have had recent discussions with Arozarena about a contract extension, according to Fansided’s Robert Murray. It’s unclear how close the two sides are to an agreement, what said agreement might entail, or whether there’s an Opening Day deadline in place. It is clear, however, that the Rays haven’t soured on Arozarena following a November arrested in Mexico stemming from a custody dispute

Arozarena, who turned 26 in February, has appeared in only 42 career regular season games. He’s hit .286/.384/.607 (170 OPS+) with eight home runs in those contests. As a result, Arozarena has compiled just 129 days of service time, putting him on track to qualify for free agency following the 2026 season, or months before his 32nd birthday.

An extension, then, might be less about locking in additional years of control (though the Rays would probably like to tack on a team option or two if they can) and more about achieving cost certainty through Arozarena’s arbitration years. After all, every dollar counts for the Rays, who operate under a tight, if partially self-imposed budget. At present, the Rays have guaranteed only one player money past the 2022 season: second baseman Brandon Lowe. If Lowe is still in town come the 2023 and 2024 seasons, he will make less than $15 million total for his services. 

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The Rays originally acquired Arozarena as part of a four-player trade in January 2020. Tampa Bay also netted the since-departed Jose Martinez while sending Matthew Liberatore and Edgardo Rodriguez to the St. Louis Cardinals.

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