Dodgers Rumors: Austin Barnes Contract Includes Incentives, Signing Bonus

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the most active teams in baseball this month, which started with the signing of Trevor Bauer to a record-setting three-year contract. The club has since reached an agreement with Justin Turner while also trading away Adam Kolarek and Dylan Floro.

The Dodgers additionally avoided arbitration with Walker Buehler on a two-year contract. Buehler was set to proceed with a hearing had he not received a multi-year extension. That left Austin Barnes as the lone remaining arbitration-eligible player without a contract for the 2021 season.

A resolution was finally reached last week when the Dodgers reportedly avoided arbitration with Barnes on a two-year pact worth $4.3 million.

According to the Associated Press, the 31-year-old’s new contract is packed with incentives and also includes a signing bonus:

Barnes gets a $300,000 signing bonus payable on March 1 and salaries of $1.5 million this year and $2.5 million in 2022. His 2022 salary can escalate by up to $200,000 for games played this year: $100,000 each for 70 and 80.

He can earn $200,000 in performance bonuses in 2022: $100,000 apiece for 70 and 80 games.

Barnes exceeded the 80-game mark during the 2017-18 seasons while falling just five games short in 2019. The same incentives are in place for the 2022 season, although Barnes’ base salary is slightly higher at $2.5 million.

He will be eligible for free agency at the conclusion of the campaign.

Barnes is coming off a solid season that saw him bounce back from a sluggish start to hit .244/.353/.314 with a home run and nine RBI in 29 games while also playing stellar defense behind the plate.

When Barnes continued to swing a hot bat in October, he essentially took over as the Dodgers’ everyday catcher with Will Smith often serving as the designated hitter.

Barnes wound up being one of the club’s unsung heroes during their 2020 World Series run. In 10 postseason games he hit .320/.393/.440 with a home run, three RBI and four runs scored.

Barnes credits Mookie Betts for helping simplify swing

After a slow start to the year, Barnes went to Mookie Betts for advice and came away with a simplified approach that helped him break out of his slump.

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