TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Rays announced on Thursday that they declined the 2023 club option on centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, making him a free agent.
According to Major League Baseball, players can officially become free agents the day after the conclusion of the World Series. However, players are unable to sign to a new team until five days after the World Series ended, which will be on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Kiermaier, 32, was a 31st-round draft pick for the Rays back in 2010 but didn’t make his MLB debut until three years later in 2013.
According to spotrac, the Rays declined the three-time Gold Glove winner’s $13 million contract option. Though it’s unclear where the veteran outfielder will end up, the news of his free agency comes on the same day he would be able to sign with a new team.
Kiermaier posted a video to his Twitter thanking fans for his time in Tampa.
“Thank you Rays fans. Thank you for absolutely everything. I was drafted back in 2010 in the 31st round as a 941st pick overall, did not know what to expect, and I knew all I had to do was throw all my eggs in one basket and be more committed to my life with baseball more than anything ever and I did just that and here I am today feeling like the luckiest man ever,” Kiermaier said.
“I am so thankful, appreciative, grateful for everything thrown my way and for the people of this community, you mean the world to me. All the kids who changed their number to 39 and how I saw that in the stands for years and years, you will never know how much that means to me. My time here is done, but I will be a part of this community forever. I love everyone, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all,” he continued in the 55-second clip.