Dodgers Arbitration Rumors: Trayce Thompson, Caleb Ferguson Agree To Contracts For 2023

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Early into the offseason process the Los Angeles Dodgers tendered contracts to Yency Almonte, Walker Buehler, Caleb Ferguson, Tony Gonsolin, Brusdar Graterol, Dustin May, Evan Phillips, Will Smith, Trayce Thompson and Julio Urías to keep them under team control for at least the 2023 season as arbitration-eligible players.

Conversely, the Dodgers non-tendered Cody Bellinger, Edwin Ríos and Luke Williams, making each of the three free agents. Bellinger went on to sign with the Chicago Cubs, whereas Ríos and Williams remain free agents.

Friday represented the deadline for teams to exchange salary figures or face the prospect of an arbitration hearing. The first reported Dodgers agreement was with Buehler for an $8.025 million salary this season.

According to Fabian Ardaya of the Athletic, the Dodgers also avoided arbitration with Ferguson:

Source: Dodgers, Caleb Ferguson settle at $1.1 million to avoid arbitration.

— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) January 13, 2023

Thompson and the Dodgers came to terms on a one-year contract as well, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post:

Trayce Thompson $1,450,000

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 13, 2023

Ferguson’s $1.1 million salary for the 2023 season matches the projection from MLB Trade Rumors. The left-hander was effective last year in his return from Tommy John surgery, pitching to a 1.82 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and holding opponents to a .187 batting average across 33.2 innings.

However, Ferguson did struggle at times with walks and ultimately was left off the Dodgers’ playoff roster for the National League Division Series.

Thompson’s reported $1.45 million salary is short of his $1.7 million projection. The 31-year-old made the most of his return to the Dodgers organization, batting .268/.364/.537 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 39 RBI in 74 games after being acquired in a trade with the Detroit Tigers.

This marked Thompson’s first time going through salary arbitration.

Will Thompson start in center field for Dodgers?

With Bellinger moving on in free agency, the Dodgers must determine who will succeed him in center field. Thompson, Chris Taylor and James Outman are among the probable candidates.

However, it’s also possible the Dodgers fill the void via trade. They reportedly have discussed Bryan Reynolds with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the asking price is said to be substantial.

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