Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Trea Turner, Julio Urias and Caleb Ferguson to avoid arbitration with each for the 2022 regular season. Cody Bellinger and the Dodgers came to terms prior to the MLB lockout.
All four of the players were signed to a one-year contract. Turner reportedly agreed to a $21 million salary, Bellinger is receiving $17 million, Urias settled at $8 million, and Ferguson will earn $762,500.
Turner exceeded the salary projection by MLB Trade Rumors ($19.8 million), so did Bellinger ($16.1 million) despite his down season, and Ferguson ($700,000) as he tries to rebound from missing all of 2021 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Urias fell shy of his salary projection ($8.8 million).
Turner remains on track to reach free agency after the 2022 season. The 28-year-old is coming off an MVP-caliber campaign in which he won the batting title and was named to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.
During time spent with the Washington Nationals and Dodgers, Turner batted a combined .328/.375/.536 with 28 home runs, 107 runs scored, 77 RBI, 32 stolen bases and a 142 wRC+. Turner became the seventh Dodgers player to win the National League batting title.
He’ll look to build upon that success — but also rebound from a subpar showing in the playoffs — while moving back to shortstop. Although Turner embraced the team-first mentality last year and accepted a move to second base, he’s excited for a return to his natural position.
Bellinger is coming off the worst statistical season of his career after hitting just .165/.240/.302 with nine doubles, 10 home runs and 36 RBI in 95 games. He did manage to right the ship in October, emerging as one of the Dodgers’ better hitters in the postseason.
Urias went 20-3 with a 2.96 ERA, 3.13 FIP and 1.02 WHIP across 32 starts in his first full season being a permanent member of the Dodgers’ rotation. He was the Majors’ only 20-game winner last year and threw a career-high 185.2 innings.
Urias was the recipient of the 2021 Warren Spahn Award, which has been presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame since 1999 to the best left-handed pitcher in baseball. The award takes into account wins, ERA and strikeouts.
Ferguson had a breakout year as a relief pitcher in 2020, posting a 2.89 ERA and 3.57 FIP while striking out 13.02 hitters per nine and walking just 1.45 per nine, but his season ended early because of a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) that required Tommy John surgery.
Dodgers free agency outlook
Bellinger is eligible for salary arbitration one more time and is due to become a free agent after the 2023 season. Urias, who also reached Super Two status in his career, won’t reach free agency until after 2024.
Walker Buehler is on a similar trajectory, but did have two years of salary arbitration bought out when he signed a two-year, $8 million contract in February 2021. Buehler, another Super Two player, remains eligible for arbitration in 2023 and 2024.
The Dodgers reportedly attempted to sign Buehler to a long-term contract extension rather than for just two years.
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