When the offseason began the Los Angeles Dodgers had nine players who were eligible for arbitration. That number decreased last November when Chin-Hui Tsao rejected an assignment to Triple-A Oklahoma City and became a free agent.
Then in December, the Dodgers agreed to one-year contracts with Chris Hatcher and Scott Van Slyke, avoiding arbitration with both players. Luis Avilan, Josh Fields, Yasmani Grandal, Vidal Nuno, Darin Ruf and Alex Wood were tendered contracts.
Though, upon further review, it was determined Ruf is not eligible for salary arbitration this offseason. On Tuesday, the Dodgers agreed to a one-year contract with Nuno.
Now Los Angeles has also avoided arbitration with Avilan, Fields, Grandal and Wood according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Source: Dodgers avoid arbitration with Yasmani Grandal ($5.5M), Alex Wood ($2.8M), Josh Fields ($1.05M) and Luis Avilan ($1.5M).
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) January 13, 2017
Avilan began the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City and spent much of the year bouncing to and from the Minors. He pitched in 33 Triple-A games last season, posting an unimpressive 4.24 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.
Over 27 games with the Dodgers, he pitched to a 3.20 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. Avilan ranked behind only Kenley Jansen among Dodgers relievers with a 2.13 FIP. After struggling through multiple stints with the Dodgers, Avilan finished the regular season with nine scoreless innings over 11 appearances.
Avilan settled for $1.39 million last offseason to avoid arbitration. MLB Trade Rumors projected he’d earn $1.5 million this season.
Fields receives a slight raise after earning $900,000 last season with the Houston Astros and the Dodgers. MLB Trade Rumors projected the 31-year-old would receive a $1.2 million salary this season.
Los Angeles acquired Fields at the non-waiver trade deadline in exchange for Cuban outfielder Yordan Alvarez. Fields posted a 2.79 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 1.45 WHIP and had 22 strikeouts to eight walks over 19.1 innings pitched after being traded to the Dodgers.
His effectiveness down the stretch earned him a spot on the team’s postseason roster in both the National League Division and Championship Series. In the postseason, Fields threw a combined 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing up just one hit and striking out four.
Including time spent with the Astros, he tossed 35 innings and sported a 4.63 ERA while appearing in 37 games.
Grandal and the Dodgers avoided arbitration last winter by agreeing to a one-year pact worth $2.85 million. He proceeded to bat .228/.339/.477 with 14 doubles, 27 home runs, 72 RBI and a 121 OPS+ in 126 games.
Despite battling multiple injuries throughout the year, Grandal’s 27 homers were the most among Major League catchers. However, he went just 3-for-28 with three RBI, seven walks and 11 strikeouts over 11 postseason games (nine starts).
In 241 games over the past two seasons with the Dodgers, Grandal has hit .231/.346/.442 with 26 doubles, 43 home runs, 119 RBI and a 116 OPS+.
Injuries limited Wood to just 14 games (10 starts) last season. He went 1-4 with a 3.73 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 1.26 WHIP and 66 strikeouts in 60.1 innings. The four relief appearances came after Wood was reinstated from the DL late in the season, and he excelled in the role, throwing four shutout frames.
Although a small sample size, Wood did set a career high by averaging 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings. He was left off the roster for the National League Division Series, but was included for the NL Championship Series.
Wood’s lone postseason appearance came in Game 4 when he allowed two hits and hit a batter in two scoreless innings.
Tuesday marked the start of the arbitration process as it was the filing date for arbitration. If unable to agree to a contract, teams and players must submit a salary figure for the 2017 season on Friday.
Should that take place, both sides are permitted to continuing negotiating a new contract, with any necessary arbitration hearings scheduled between Jan. 30 and Feb. 17. The Dodgers last arbitration hearing was with Joe Beimel in 2007.