Dodgers Signed Julio Urías, Will Smith, Walker Buehler & More To Avoid Arbitration For 2023

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The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Yency Almonte, Walker Buehler, Caleb Ferguson, Brusdar Graterol, Dustin May, Evan Phillips, Will Smith, Trayce Thompson and Julio Urías to respective contracts in order to avoid arbitration for the 2023 season.

The team did not release details of the contracts, but each was reported throughout the deadline day on Friday as one-year pacts.

Almonte was going through the arbitration process for the first time in his career and reportedly agreed to a $1.5 million salary for this season. That exceeded his $1 million projection by MLB Trade Rumors.

After signing a Minor League contract and beginning last season in Triple-A Oklahoma City, Almonte posted a 1.02 ERA and 0.79 WHIP over 33 appearances for the Dodgers.

Buehler also came to terms with the Dodgers for more than his projected salary of $8.1 million. The right-hander is due to receive an $8.025 million salary but will miss most, if not the entire 2023 season, while recovering from a second Tommy John surgery.

Buehler faces a final year of salary arbitration before potentially becoming a free agent after the 2024 season.

Ferguson’s $1.1 million salary for 2023 matches the projection by MLB Trade Rumors. Ferguson was limited but effective last season 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.

Graterol qualified for arbitration as a Super Two player and narrowly exceeded his $1.2 million projected salary. Graterol is due to earn $1.225 million this year as he looks to build on success from last season and remain healthier.

Despite dealing with right shoulder and elbow injuries in 2021, Graterol finished 2-4 with four saves, a 3.26 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 0.99 WHIP, 21.8% strikeout rate and 5.1% walk rate across a career-high 46 games.

May also was arbitration-eligible for the first time in his career and reportedly agreed to a $1.675 million salary for this season. MLB Trade Rumors projected May would earn $1.4 million.

May had expectedly mixed results in his return from Tommy John surgery and now heads into his first full season since the operation. Although the Dodgers still figure to be cautious with the right-hander, he is going to play a key role for a starting rotation that lost some of its depth.

Phillips was another of the Dodgers going through arbitration for the first time, and he did so as a Super Two player. Phillips and the Dodgers agreed on a $1.3 million salary, which is shy of his $1.4 million projection.

The 28-year-old put together a dominant 2021 season that included a 1.14 ERA, 1.94 FIP, 0.76 WHIP, .153 batting average against, 33% strikeout rate and 6.4% walk rate.

Smith and the Dodgers reportedly agreed to a $5.25 million salary in his first time being eligible for arbitration. MLB Trade Rumors projected the $5.2 million salary this year for the 27-year-old.

Thompson’s first time through arbitration earned him a $1.45 million salary, short of his $1.7 million projection. Thompson made the most of his return to the Dodgers organization last year, 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.

Urías’ reported $14.25 million salary is more than his $13.7 million projection. The left-hander went through arbitration for the final time and is due to become a free agent after the 2023 season.

Dodgers, Tony Gonsolin face potential arbitration hearing

Absent from the Dodgers’ announcement of agreements was Tony Gonsolin, as the two sides failed to come to terms.

Gonsolin reportedly filed for a $3.4 million salary while the Dodgers countered at $3 million, and they now face the prospect of an arbitration hearing in the coming weeks.

President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has taken a “file and trial” approach, meaning no agreement by the exchange deadline leads to a hearing. Exceptions to that have been Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, Austin Barnes and Buehler, as they each signed multi-year contract extensions to avoid an arbitration hearing.

The Dodgers have only had two arbitration hearings under Friedman, both of which came in 2020, when the team won their case over Joc Pederson but lost to Pedro Báez. Those were the first arbitration hearings for the Dodgers since winning against Joe Beimel in 2007.

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