Rangers avoid arbitration with all 7, topped by closer Dyson
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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers avoided salary arbitration with all seven of their eligible players Friday, topped by closer Sam Dyson getting a $3 million raise after making just over the major league minimum last season.
Dyson agreed to a $3.52 million contract after taking over as closer for the AL West champions about a month into the season and finishing third in the AL with 38 saves. The right-hander made $525,270 last season.
Texas also reached deals with three other relievers — left-hander Jake Diekman at $2.55 million and right-handers Jeremy Jeffress ($2.1 million) and Tanner Scheppers ($975,000). Right-handed starter A.J. Griffin accepted a $2 million offer.
Also agreeing to contracts were catcher Robinson Chirinos ($1.95 million) and infielder Jurickson Profar ($1,005,000).
Dyson went 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA in 73 games, second-most in the AL. The 28-year-old was drafted by Toronto in 2010 and claimed off waivers by Miami three years later. The Rangers acquired him at the trading deadline in 2015.
Diekman sought $3.1 million with the Rangers countering at $1.9 million in figures exchanged earlier Friday. It didn't take long to find middle ground with the top lefty in the Texas bullpen. Diekman made $1.25 million while going 4-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 66 games last season.
Jeffress, who made $519,000 last season, came from Milwaukee with catcher Jonathan Lucroy in a deadline deal. The right-hander was away from the team for about a month, spending more than three weeks in a rehab clinic following his Aug. 26 arrest on a drunken-driving charge. He had a 2.70 ERA in 12 games with Texas.
In addition to his salary, Jeffress can earn $250,000 in performance bonuses based on games: $50,000 each for 55, 60 and 65, and $100,000 for 70.
Scheppers missed most of last season because of left knee surgery, making 10 appearances in the final month. The right-hander made $900,000 last year.
Griffin, who made $517,000 last season, was 7-4 with a 5.07 ERA in 23 starts after not pitching in the majors since 2013 because of right elbow surgery.
Chirinos lost his job when the Rangers acquired Lucroy. The 32-year-old, who has played in 261 games for Texas the past five years, hit .224 in 57 games in an injury-plagued season. Chirinos made $1.5 million last season.
After missing two full seasons because of right shoulder issues, Profar hit .239 with five homers and 20 RBIs. He played all four infield positions, as well as left field and DH. He made $605,000 last season after avoiding arbitration.