On Friday, the Dodgers announced that they had avoided arbitration with four members of their champion roster. However, the club remained apart on terms with right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler and veteran catcher Austin Barnes.
2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger agreed to a $16.1 million contract. 2020 NLCS and World Series MVP Corey Seager agreed to a $13.75 million contract. Julio Urias and Dylan Floro also came to terms on $3.6 million and $975k deals respectively before Friday’s deadline.
In the case of Buehler, MLB insider Mark Feinsand reported that the LA ace filed a $4.15 million request in his first season of arbitration eligibility while the Dodgers countered with a $3.3 million offer. Barnes filed at $2 million while the club offered $1.5 million, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
The team and players still have time to work out deals for the 2021 season with arbitration hearings not starting until February. As I noted on Friday, the Dodgers don’t often go the file and trial route in these talks. Still, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Last winter, the team couldn’t reach agreements with four players by the deadline date but ultimately worked out multi-year contracts with two (Max Muncy on a three-year deal, and Chris Taylor for two years). On the other side, the club did go to a hearing with Joc Pederson and Pedro Baez.
More than likely, the Dodgers will find a middle ground with Barnes on a one-year deal before reaching that point. But in the case of Walker Buehler, the hope is that a multi-year contract could be in the works.