The Los Angeles Dodgers announced the signing of Chris Taylor to a two-year contract extension, buying out his remaining two years of salary arbitration and avoiding a hearing. It comes on the heels of the club similarly inking Max Muncy to a three-year extension to avoid arbitration.
However, whereas their deal with Muncy includes a team option for the 2023 season — which would delay when he reaches free agency — Taylor is slated to hit the open market after the 2021 campaign.
While the Dodgers signed Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez, Corey Seager and arbitration-eligible players, they failed to come to agreements with Pedro Baez, Muncy, Joc Pederson and Taylor. Now Baez remains the lone unsettled case, as the Dodgers won their arbitration hearing against Pederson.
Financial terms of Taylor’s agreement were not released. He reportedly filed at $5.8 million, and the team was said to have countered with $5.25 million.
After a breakout season in 2017, which saw him named National League Championship Series co-MVP with Justin Turner, Taylor experienced some regression the following year. He continued to provide plenty of versatility in the field but led the NL with 178 strikeouts.
Taylor cut down on that number last season — albeit while seeing his number of games played reduced from 155 to 124. He continued to move around the diamond and finished the year batting .262/.333/.462 with 52 runs, 29 doubles, 12 home runs and 52 RBI.
Taylor figures to once again fill a super utility role for the Dodgers in 2020. The team appears poised to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox, which would lead to trading Pederson and Ross Stripling to the L.A. Angels.
Hernandez and Taylor are likely to spell players in the outfield and in the middle infield.
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