The Los Angeles Dodgers reached agreements with Cody Bellinger, Dylan Floro, Corey Seager and Julio Urias on one-year contracts for the 2021 season, avoiding arbitration with each. They previously did so with Scott Alexander back in December.
There additionally a reported agreement with Corey Knebel, though the team has not officially announced that. What also became clear as Friday’s deadline passed was Austin Barnes and Walker Buehler did not agree to contracts.
Barnes is going through the salary arbitration process for a second time, while it is a first for Buehler. The right-hander reportedly filed for a $4.15 million salary, and the Dodgers countered at $3.3. million.
According to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group, Barnes requested a $2 million salary for the 2021 season, and the Dodgers filed at a figure that is not far off:
Barnes is seeking $2 million while the Dodgers countered at $1.5 million.
Both Barnes and Buehler are said to desire a multi-year contract and otherwise will move forward with an arbitration hearing in February. The Dodgers signed Max Muncy and Chris Taylor to multi-year contracts last winter, buying out their respective arbitration years.
However, Pedro Baez and Joc Pederson went to an arbitration hearing with the team. Baez was successful, but Pederson lost his case and later voiced frustration with the process — in large part because it overlapped with a reported trade to the L.A. Angels.
Barnes dealt with more inconsistency at the plate last season, but was aided by advice from Mookie Betts and went on to play a key role in the Dodgers winning their first World Series title since 1988.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts began starting Barnes instead of Will Smith behind the plate because of his ability to call a game and handle the pitching staff, though he hit a home run in the World Series and prompted the Tampa Bay Rays to remove Blake Snell because of a single.
Dodgers free agency concerns
While it’s a guarantee Barnes and Buehler both will be in a Dodgers uniform for the 2021 season, the team still has decisions to make on several of their free agents. Namely Justin Turner, whose importance increased with DJ LeMahieu agreeing to re-sign with the New York Yankees.
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