Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers beginning the process of evaluating and pursuing options in free agency, they got ahead of the market by signing Max Muncy to a two-year contract extension.
Muncy and the Dodgers agreed on a two-year, $24 million contract that has a club option worth $10 million for the 2026 season. With the new deal, Muncy will earn $2 million less than he would’ve if the team picked up his original club option for 2024, but he’ll have the security of a longer commitment.
After signing the contract, Muncy highlighted the Dodgers giving him his best chance at winning the World Series, his comfort level within the organization, and his thankfulness to the club for giving him an opportunity while he was almost out of baseball entirely.
Muncy also admitted he believes the contract is below what he could have potentially made on the free agent market and during an appearance on Foul Territory, he provided some insight into what led to that decision:
“Yeah, that was a really hard discussion that we had to have with ourselves. You know, there’s no telling what my market would have actually been, but we felt like the deal we got is definitely undervalue. But it was something that we discussed that the value to us was being able to stay in L.A. and keeping my family in L.A., where my kids are comfortable now. My wife is comfortable there now. We had to kind of talk amongst ourselves and try to decide what the number would have been to relocate them to another city, and we really didn’t know what that was.
“And more than likely, even if we didn’t have any discussions, the Dodgers would have picked up my option and I would have had another year there anyway. But just to know that my family is going to be able to be there for a couple more years, that to me, was kind of the more important thing.”
Muncy taking a discount to stay isn’t a common theme across Major League Baseball, but given the incentive to stick with one of the most sustainably successful organizations in the sport is a plus. The Dodgers’ infielder has been amongst the league’s top performers in how he approaches the game.
Since 2018, Muncy third in the National League in home runs (167), fifth in runs (441), sixth in RBI (440), second in walks (432) and first in walk-rate (15.3%).
The only knock on Muncy’s offensive game is batting average, which the Dodgers have consistently looked beyond, relying on his as one of the key pieces to their offensive equation. Muncy did struggle defensively, but that’s a sacrifice the team is making to sign a player on a contract below market value.
Where Max Muncy ranks amongst Dodgers power hitters
Muncy has maintained his value to the organization in his ability to maintain a strong power output over the years.
His position versatility has seen him play all infield slots, except for shortstop, finding a home at third base since Freddie Freeman joined the team. But heading into the 2024 season, Muncy ranks 10th in Dodgers history with 175 home runs.
He sits just two shy of passing Mike Piazza for ninth all-time, and if his averages stay the same, Muncy could end up as high as sixth all-time by seasons end. Regardless of the criticism that comes with his boom-or-bust approach at the plate, he’ll go down as one of the great Dodgers home run hitters.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!