For the first time in his professional career, Kevin Kiermaier is no longer part of the Tampa Bay Rays organization.
The outfielder officially became a free agent Thursday after the team declined to pick up his $13.5 million option for 2023 and bought him out for $2.5 million.
The Rays have declined the 2023 club option on CF Kevin Kiermaier, making him a free agent.
— Rays Communications (@RaysPR) November 10, 2022
Kiermaier finishes as the second-longest tenured player in Rays franchise history, trailing only third baseman Evan Longoria.
“I am the luckiest man on the planet to have been a part of [the Rays] for 12 years,” Kiermaier said on social media Thursday. “They gave me an opportunity and I ran with it. [It’s] impossible to express how much I love everything here in Tampa/St. Pete. I was damn proud to wear that jersey every single day.”
After being selected in the 31st round of the 2010 Draft, the 32-year-old finishes his time in Tampa Bay with a slash line of .248/.308/.407 with 82 home runs and 316 RBI.
Kiermaier also posted this video on his social media.
— Kevin Kiermaier (@KKiermaier39) November 10, 2022