Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers were busy on Friday, as most teams around MLB, as it represented the deadline to exchange salary figures with arbitration-eligible players.
Evan Phillips is among the 10 players who the Dodgers tendered contracts to for the upcoming season. Although arbitration is typically for players with three to five years of service time, the right-hander received Super Two status, along with Brusdar Graterol and Tony Gonsolin.
To qualify, a player must rank in the top 22% in terms of service time, among those who have amassed between two and three years in the Majors. The specific cutoff date varies on a year-to-year basis, and in 2022 the bar for Super Two status was set at 2 years, 128 days.
Phillips became the latest Dodgers player to agree to terms on a contract for the 2023 season, signing a one-year deal worth $1.3 million, according to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
Source: Evan Phillips and the Dodgers have agreed on a $1.3 million deal for next year to avoid arbitration
— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) January 13, 2023
Phillps was projected to earn $1.4 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
The 28-year-old finished his remarkable season throwing 63 innings with a 1.14 ERA, 1.94 FIP, 0.76 WHIP, .153 batting average against, 33% strikeout rate, 6.4% walk rate and 2.2 WAR. He also continued that success into the postseason with 3.1 shutout innings before the Dodgers were eliminated.’
During the season, Phillips’ teammates gave him the nickname “High Leverage Honey Bun,” which is a play on the Honey Bun nickname he had in college. Alex Vesia also had shirts designed and brought into the clubhouse for the rest of the team.
Going into the 2023 season, he was ranked by MLB Network’s The Shredder as the fourth-best reliever in baseball, and he should once again be one of the most trusted options in the bullpen for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Phillips is also the early favorite to receive the majority of save opportunities with a bullpen-by-committee approach.
The Dodgers have also reportedly agreed to terms with Walker Buehler, Caleb Ferguson, Dustin May, Will Smith, Trayce Thompson, Julio Urías, Yency Almonte and Graterol for the 2023 season as well.
Evan Phillips unlocked a new level of confidence
Phillips joined the Dodgers with a career 7.26 ERA and 1.79 WHIP in 49 games over parts of four seasons in the Majors, but with some help from the coaching staff, he had a breakout year, which led to him becoming more confident and consistent.
The reliever was nominated for the 2022 All-MLB Team, but didn’t earn a selection.
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