UPDATE (Jan. 16, 9:05 a.m. PT): The Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced they signed Chris Heisey to a one-year contract on Friday:
Today, the Dodgers agreed to a one-year contract with outfielder Chris Heisey, avoiding arbitration.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 16, 2015
It’s the time of year to settle final salaries and the Los Angeles Dodgers have a few players they are dealing with, looking to avoid arbitration.
They already settled with catcher A.J. Ellis before he filed for arbitration, and still have some players to settle with before going to the arbitrator. Kenley Jansen, Chris Heisey, Justin Turner and Juan Nicasio are the quarter awaiting their 2015 salary.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Dodgers reduced that number by one on Thursday night:
Chris heisey, dodgers settle at $2.16M
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 16, 2015
Heisey was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in December for minor-league pitcher Matt Magill. He spent five years with the Reds, having his best season in 2011 when he played in 120 games. That year he hit .254 with 18 home runs and 50 RBIs.
The 30-year-old outfielder can play all three spots and provides some pop at the plate. He is expected to serve as a backup outfielder, possibly a choice to play center field if prospect Joc Pederson proves not worthy. As it stands, he is the fifth outfielder, but that could change should the Dodgers decide to deal Andre Ethier before the spring. This is Heisey’s first year of arbitration, and he has three more years before he becomes a free agent.
Of the remaining arbitration-eligible players, only Jansen has a legitimate possibility of signing a long-term deal. The new front office doesn’t seem to fond of long deals to relievers, so a one or two-year deal seems more likely. Turner enjoyed a career year with the Dodgers last year, and will fill the same role as last season. Nicasio was claimed from the Colorado Rockies, and will be a project this spring for the bullpen and as a sport starter.