While the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Scott Alexander and Austin Barnes to one-year contracts last year, and avoided arbitration with the likes of Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager and others, they failed to reach agreements with Pedro Baez, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor.
That set the stage for the Dodgers and the four players to have arbitration hearings this month. It would mark a first for L.A. since 2007, when they defeated relief pitcher Joe Beimel.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is among the executives who operates under a “file-and-trial” philosophy. An exception to that approach however, was if the team could come to terms on a multi-year contract.
The Dodgers recently were said to be undecided on pursuing that type of deal with their arbitration-eligible players, but they have agreed to a three-year contract extension with Muncy, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Correction on option: It is for $13M, not $13.5M. https://t.co/A3hp6omuzd
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 6, 2020
The discrepancy between Muncy and the team was minimal as he field at $4.675 million and the Dodgers countered with $4 million.
Muncy has been a breakout star for the Dodgers over the last two years. After being released by the Oakland Athletics and signing a Minor League deal with L.A., he worked his way to the Majors in 2018 and never looked back.
Had the Dodgers gone to an arbitration hearing, they reportedly intended to argue Muncy — as well as Pederson and Taylor — are not everyday players. That’s despite Muncy appearing in 141 games last season and earning a first career selection to the All-Star Game.
He finished the year batting .251/.374/.515 with 35 home runs, 101 runs scored and 98 RBI. Muncy also showed improved versatility defensively, whether playing first or second base.
The agreement with the Dodgers buys out Muncy’s three years of salary arbitration and potentially one year of free agency if the team option is exercised.
The Dodgers still face arbitration hearings with Baez, Pederson and Taylor. In Pederson’s case, it’s coming in the midst of a potential trade to the L.A. Angels.
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