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Kiermaier Officially Free Agent After Buyout

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

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.

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.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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