The Los Angeles Dodgers tendered contracts to Pedro Baez, Josh Fields, Yimi Garcia, Kiké Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor and Alex Wood prior to Friday’s 5 p.m. PT deadline to do so for arbitration-eligible players.
Tony Cingrani was also arbitration-eligible, but he was able to avoid the process altogether by reportedly agreeing to a one-year, $2.65 million fully guaranteed contract.
Los Angeles also announced that Pat Venditte, who was recently designated for assignment, has been non-tendered, so he is now a free agent.
The Dodgers are permitted to negotiate contracts with each of the aforementioned players, and will exchange salary figures in January with any player they are unable to come to terms with on a new deal. Arbitration hearings would then be held in February. The sides are allowed to continue contract talks after exchange figures.
Baez is coming off perhaps his best big league season with the Dodgers. In 55 games, he posted a 2.88 ERA, 3.16 FIP and 1.23 WHIP while striking out 62 and walking 23 in 56.1 innings.
He was actually the Dodgers’ best reliever down the stretch of the season, allowing just one earned run in 19.1 innings across his final 19 games of the season. He then pitched to a 1.59 ERA in 11.1 innings in the postseason.
Fields had his season cut short due to arm injuries. He had a strong showing when healthy though, yielding a 2.20 ERA, 3.62 FIP and 0.95 WHIP in 45 games. Fields struck out 33 and walked 11 in 41 innings.
Fields was not able to make it back in time to prove he was 100 percent healthy before the start of the postseason, so he was left off the Dodgers’ roster in all three rounds.
The 2018 season was Garcia’s first coming off Tommy John surgery, so not much was expected of him going into the year. He was not quite able to return to his previous form, pitching to a 5.64 ERA, 6.34 FIP and 1.48 WHIP with 19 punch outs and four walks in 22.1 innings across 25 games.
Hernandez was once again a Swiss Army knife for the Dodgers in 2018, playing eight different positions. In addition to playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at all of them, Hernandez also had a career season at the plate.
In 145 games, Hernandez hit .256/.336/.470 with career-highs across in home runs (21), RBI (52), runs scored (67) and walks (50).
Pederson got off to a slow start in 2018, but really turned things around and also had one of his best offensive seasons. Serving as the Dodgers’ primary leadoff hitter against right-handed pitching, Pederson hit .248/.321/.522 with 25 home runs, 56 RBI and 65 runs scored in 148 games.
The Dodgers signed Puig to a seven-year contract after he defected from Cuba in June of 2012. He is now in the final year of that contract and is arbitration-eligible for the first time before becoming a free agent at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Puig missed some time due to injury in 2018, but in 125 games, he had a respectable .267/.327/.494 slashline with 23 home runs, 63 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 20 attempts.
Seager has developed into one of the bright young stars in all of baseball since he debuted in 2015. Unfortunately, his 2018 season ended before it really started as he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in April.
He also had a hip surgery later in the season, so 2019 will be an opportunity for him to prove he is healthy and back to being the elite player he was before the injuries.
Taylor wasn’t quite able to replicate his 2017 breakout campaign in 2018, but he was still solid for the Dodgers. In 155 games, he hit .254/.331/.444 with 17 home runs, 63 RBI and 85 runs scored. However, Taylor did lead the National League with 178 strikeouts.
Wood also had a breakout All-Star season in 2017 but wasn’t to repeat it in 2018. He struggled as a starter, which led to him being demoted to the bullpen for the last couple months of the season.
In 33 overall appearances (27 starts), Wood went 9-7 with a 3.68 ERA, 3.53 FIP and 1.21 WHIP while striking out 135 and walking 40 in 151.2 innings. It will be interesting to see if the Dodgers view him as a starter or reliever in 2019 as that could affect how much he makes in arbitration.