The Los Angeles Dodgers got ahead of the arbitration process last December by agreeing to one-year contracts with Scott Alexander and Austin Barnes.
L.A. additionally tendered contracts to Pedro Baez, Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Ross Stripling, Chris Taylor and Julio Urias by the deadline to do so.
They later came to terms with Bellinger, Hernandez, Seager, Stripling and Urias. Each agreed to a one-year contract and avoided arbitration for the 2020 MLB season. However, the Dodgers failed to reach agreements with Baez, Muncy, Pederson and Taylor, and now face the prospect of arbitration hearings next month.
During an appearance on SportsNet LA, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group said the Dodgers will attempt to argue Muncy, Pederson and Taylor are not full-time players:
“Sources familiar with the team’s thinking on this, tell me that’s part of the case against them. The team will try to argue they are part-time players, not full-time players.”
While the Dodgers failed to agree to contracts with Baez, Muncy, Pederson and Taylor, the total discrepancy in reported figures the parties filed is merely a combined $3.475 million. The largest difference is between the Dodgers and Pederson — $1.75 million.
Pederson filed at $9.5 million, while the Dodgers countered by submitting $7.75 million. MLB Trade Rumors projected an $8.5 million salary for Pederson in 2020.
Meanwhile, Baez is said to have filed at $4 million (Dodgers at $3.5 million), Muncy submitted $4.675 million (team countered with $4 million), and Taylor asked for $5.8 million (countered by $5.25 million)
Although Pederson was platooned, he nonetheless appeared in 149 games last season and hit .249/.339/.538 with 16 doubles, 36 home runs, 83 runs scored and 74 RBI. His batting average, slugging percentage, home runs, runs scored and RBI all represented the best marks of his career.
Pederson additionally broke his own Dodgers franchise record with nine leadoff home runs — one year after setting the mark with eight.
After being released by the Oakland Athletics and signing a Minor League deal with L.A., Muncy has been a breakout star. The 29-year-old made his first All-Star team in 2019, hitting .251/.374/.515 with 35 home runs, 101 runs scored and 98 RBI in 141 games.
Muncy also improved on the defensive side of the ball and demonstrated versatility by playing first, second and third base at a high level.
Taylor again was productive after a bit of a down campaign in 2018, as he hit .262/.333/.462 with 12 home runs, 52 runs scored and 52 RBI in 124 games.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman historically has operated under a file-and-trial approach with arbitration. If the Dodgers indeed have a hearing in February, it will be their first since besting Joe Beimel in 2007.
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