With the exception of signing Daniel Hudson to a one-year contract, the Los Angeles Dodgers were mostly quiet amid the flurry of activity in MLB free agency over the past week.
That changed on Wednesday night when the club finalized an agreement to bring back Chris Taylor, just hours before team owners imposed the long-anticipated lockout.
The super utilityman drew interest from a slew of teams this offseason and was projected to receive a contract in the five-year range due to the competition for his services.
Taylor ultimately secured a four-year deal with the Dodgers that is worth a reported $60 million and includes a $12 million team option ($4 million buyout) for 2026.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Taylor was willing to accept a lesser salary in order to remain with the organization:
Ben Zobrist got 4/56 from Cubs entering age 35 season in 2016, a deal perhaps no team would give a player of that age today. Taylor gets 4/60 entering age 31 season, plus club option. His camp told other teams this AM that money wasn’t driving factor. He wanted to stay with LAD. https://t.co/0UQqV1Ntnz
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 2, 2021
In re-signing Taylor, the Dodgers have retained one of their most important and versatile players. He batted .254/.344/.438 with 25 doubles, 20 home runs and 73 RBI in 148 games this year while seeing time at six different positions.
Taylor’s return is even more crucial in the wake of Corey Seager signing a 10-year, $325 million contract with the Texas Rangers.
Taylor re-signing sends Neuse into limbo
As the corresponding move to re-signing Taylor, Sheldon Neuse was designated for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Under normal circumstances, the 26-year-old would have clarity on his future within a week’s time.
However, with MLB team owners imposing a lockout, Neuse will remain in DFA limbo until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place.
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