Yesterday was the last day of the winter meetings in Las Vegas and which provided for some interesting deals and large paydays for those going to New York this week. Today at midnight is the deadline to offer contracts to those that are unsigned arbitration-eligible players on the 40-man roster. If a team doesn't offer arbitration, then that player becomes a free agent. The Rays have six players that are arbitration-eligible: Willy Aybar, Jonny Gomes, Gabe Gross, Dioner Navarro, Jason Bartlett, and Grant Balfour. The players likely not to get arbitration is Jonny Gomes. The rest are all likely to be offered a contract.
Jonny had great rookie year finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2005. Then has played subpar over the last three season moving around the minors and sitting on the bench most of this past season on the big league club. A decent power hitter, he lacks consistency to become a great OF/DH or bench player. But has hit well in the past in stretches, actually can steal bases once in while, almost an average defender, and he has great clubhouse presence. Unfortunately, his time with the Rays seem to be numbered as the Rays traded for another young outfielder and are willing to bring in a big bat free agent to DH. But Jonny Gomes did provide lots memories on and off the field.