Rays sign Jeff Niemann, avoid arbitration

J. Meric

Tampa Bay has secured the tall right-hander for $3 million.

The Tampa Bay Rays have come to terms with right-hander Jeff Niemann on a one-year, $3 million deal, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

Niemann, 29, missed most of last season with a broken leg -- suffered on a comebacker off the bat of Adam Lind in May -- so receives only a slight bump in salary from the $2.75 million he made in 2011.

When Niemann was healthy he was his usual effective self, posting a 3.08 ERA and 8.1 K/9 rate in eight starts. The right-hander -- who was also hampered by a shoulder injury late in the year -- is expected to be ready to go by spring training next month, and should be a big part of the James Shields-less Rays rotation going forward.

Niemann has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining before he hits the open market in 2015.

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