Coming into the offseason, the Dodgers had nine players eligible for salary arbitration. On Friday it was announced that all nine were tendered contracts before the deadline.
One player, Yimi Garcia, has already accepted the contract and avoided arbitration.
The Dodgers signed Yimi Garcia to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) December 1, 2017
It was reported by Bill Plunkett that Garcia’s contract is worth $630,000. Yimi pitched in parts of three seasons for the Dodgers, showing great promise before injuries knocked him out of action. Garcia ended up needing to have Tommy John surgery which kept him out for all of 2017.
The other eight players who were tendered contracts include Alex Wood, Yasmani Grandal, Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez, Tony Cingrani, Luis Avilan, Josh Fields, and Pedro Baez. These players till have time to negotiate their contracts, though if they can’t reach an agreement with the Dodgers then salary arbitration hearings will take place in February. All of these players played a part in the Dodgers having the best record in baseball, and all expect Baez and Avilan made contributions in the postseason.
Alex Wood had a breakout season in 2017, going 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and 151 strikeouts over 152.1 innings. Wood was acquired from the Braves in 2015 and had an up and down career with the Dodgers prior to 2017. Alex started the season in the bullpen, but after a couple great performances paired with Rich Hill’s early season blister issues the 26 year old moved to the rotation and stayed there all season. Wood had a rough start in the NLCS, allowing 3 runs over 4.2 innings, but pitched well in the World Series allowing just 1 run over 7.2 innings.
Yasmani Grandal had a solid, yet underwhelming 2017 season, where he slashed .247/.308/.459 with 22 home runs and 27 doubles. Grandal was the primary catcher throughout the regular season, but lost that role to Austin Barnes in the postseason. With the emergence of Barnes, it was rumored that the Dodgers were willing to trade the 29-year old catcher.
Joc Pederson is coming off a rough season. The 25-year old slashed .212/.331/.407 with just 11 home runs in 2017, and ended up being optioned to AAA late in the season. However, Pederson was added to the playoff roster before the NLCS and ended up being a key contributor in the World Series, hitting going 6 for 18 with 3 home runs. Hopefully the World Series success will translate to a consistent 2018 season for the outfielder.
Kiké Hernandez had a bounce-back year in 2017 after a very tough 2016. The 26-year old had 11 home runs, 24 doubles, and 2 triples in a which accounted for 37 of his 64 total hits. While only slashing .215/.308/.421, the young utility man made his presence felt with his 37 extra-base hits while playing 7 different positions throughout the season. He also went 8 for 25 with 3 home runs in the postseason.
Tony Cingrani was acquired from the Reds at the deadline and quickly turned his season around. After struggling in Cincinnati for the better part of 2017, the 28 year old lefty excelled with the Dodgers, pitching to a 2.79 ERA over 19.1 innings. Look for him to be a key part of the Dodgers bullpen in 2018.
Luis Avilan had a solid season, pitching to a 2.93 ERA with 52 strikeouts over 46 innings pitched. Avilan, acquired in 2015 as a part of the same deal as Alex Wood, also had his best season as a Dodger in 2017. Despite this, he was left off the postseason roster after the acquisitions of Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani.
Josh Fields had a tremendous start to 2017, but had his struggles in the second half and finished with a 2.84 ERA over 57 innings. The right-hander made 4 appearances in the postseason, allowing 2 solo home runs and recording just 3 outs.
Pedro Baez, like Fields, started 2017 looking like a new pitcher. The 29-year old was nothing short of dominant early in the season, but fell off badly down the stretch and finished with a 2.95 ERA over 64 innings pitched. Due to his late season struggles, the right-hander was left off the postseason roster.
How do you feel about hopefully all of these nine players being set to return? Let us know in the comments!
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