So, this sounds a little worse than it actually is. Today, while the Dodgers were able to strike deals on 2021 contracts with Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias in arbitration, they remained apart on terms with ace Walker Buehler, and postseason hero Austin Barnes.
J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.
The next step for both players, I’m told, will either be an arbitration hearing or a multi-year deal.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) January 16, 2021
As a super two, this is Buehler’s first go-around in arbitration. A super two is defined as players in the top 22 percent of players with at least two but not yet three seasons of service time. In the case of Barnes, this is his second year as an arbitration-eligible player, coming off of a $1.1 million agreement for the 2020 season.
As Hoornstra notes, next up is either an arbitration hearing or a multi-year extension with the Dodgers, although the extension would be more likely in the case of Buehler over Barnes.
While salary arbitration numbers are slightly more fickle than in years past thanks to the shortened 60-game season, Walker Buehler was projected to earn a salary in the $2.3-$3.1 million range for 2021, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Barnes sat in the $1.5 million range.
MLB insider Mark Feinsand reported the Buehler salary numbers.
Walker Buehler filed for $4.15 million, while the Dodgers countered at $3.3 million. Midpoint: $3.725 million.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 16, 2021
Notably, Friday was something of a soft deadline for teams and players to reach an agreement. LA agreed to deals with Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Julio Urias, and Dylan Floro. Similar to last offseason, the Dodgers did not reach agreements with every arbitration-eligible player. However, they ended up working out multi-year deals with two (Chris Taylor and Max Muncy) before a potential arbitration hearing date.
If Buehler and Barnes cannot work out a deal with the club in time, each side will face a three-person panel in an often uncomfortable battle. Hearings will take place between February 1-21 this year.
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