For the first time since 2007, the Los Angeles Dodgers were not able to avoid arbitration with all of their eligible players by the deadline.
They did come to an agreement with multiple players, including signing Max Muncy to a three-year extension with a team option for a fourth year to avoid arbitration. That left three more in Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor and Pedro Baez.
Taylor’s case, in particular, was a bit strange considering he has been a key player for the Dodgers since bursting onto the scene in 2017. According to reports, Taylor filed at $5.25 million while the Dodgers were at $5.8 million.
The argument the Dodgers were trying to make with Taylor, as well as Pederson, is that they are not everyday players so should not be paid as such. They didn’t end up having to do so L.A. and Taylor were able to settle out of court by agreeing to a two-year contract extension.
According to the Associated Press, Taylor’s extension, which buys out his final two arbitration seasons, is worth $13.4 million:
Los Angeles and the utilityman avoided arbitration when they agreed to an $13.4 million, two-year contract that included salaries of $5.6 million this year, then $7.8 million in 2021.
It is good to see they were able to come to an agreement and did not have to go to an arbitration hearing. The two-year extension does not buyout any free agent years for Taylor, who will hit the market in 2022.
Now that he is officially back for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Taylor will likely be one of the team’s primary utility players once again. In 124 games in 2019, he slashed .262/.333/.462 with 29 doubles, 12 home runs, 52 runs scored and 52 RBI.
After a slow start in the month of April, he really came on and wound up being one of the team’s more reliable hitters in addition to tremendous defensive versatility.
As far as the other two cases, Pederson lost his but Baez was successful. Pederson, who was part of a trade agreement with the L.A. Angels at the time of his hearing, is set to earn a $7.75 million salary this season.
He reportedly attempted to have his hearing delayed because of the uncertainty regarding which team he will play for in 2020, but that was denied. Although their trade with the Angels fell through, the Dodgers are thought to still be open to moving Pederson.
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