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Seven Dodgers Sign New Contracts to Avoid Arbitration



All seven of the Dodgers arbitration eligible players signed one-year deals on Thursday to avoid arbitration. The seven are catcher Yasmani Grandal, utility man Kiké Hernandez, outfielder Joc Pederson, starter Alex Wood, along with relief pitchers Pedro Baez, Josh Fields. and Tony Cingrani.

Yasmani Grandal inked a $7.9 million deal for the 2018 season. Bob Nightengale was the first to report the signing.

Grandal is coming off a good offensive year in 2017. He slashed .247/.308/.459 with 22 home runs. He would eventually relinquish playing time to Austin Barnes, who had a breakout season in 2017. Grandal ended up out of favor in the postseason, with Barnes getting the bulk of the playing time due to his superior bat. Grandal’s deal still comes as somewhat of a bargain, with his power and elite pitch-framing ability. With the Dodgers rumored to be interested in trading Grandal, his $7.9 million salary could make him even more attractive to potential suitors.

Pedro Baez reached a $1.5 million contract with the Dodgers as well. This signing was also first reported by Bob Nightengale.

Baez has been a talented pitcher who struggled to find consistency during his career. He looked to be turning a corner early in 2017, but a tough second half showed more of the same for the now 29-year old. He ended up finishing with a 2.95 ERA with 64 strikeouts over 64 innings pitched. While these aren’t bad numbers, they do come as a disappointment after his solid start. His FIP was also the worst of his career, coming in at a 4.44. Hopefully he can turn the corner and find consistency in 2018.

Josh Fields signed a $2.2 million contract to avoid arbitration on Friday. The signing was first reported by Robert Murray.

Fields is similar to Baez in the sense that he had a good start to the season, but struggled to find consistency in the second half. He finished the season with a 2.84 ERA and 60 strikeotus over 57 innings pitched. His 4.18 FIP also came in well above his career average, which sits at 3.28. If Fields can find consistency in 2018, he could help fill the void left by the departure of Brandon Morrow.

Kiké Hernandez and the Dodgers also agreed to a deal at $1.6 million Friday to avoid arbitration. It was first reported by Jon Heyman.

Kiké improved drastically over his rough 2016 season, having a good year in 2017. He finished the year slashing .215/.308/.421 with 11 home runs and 24 doubles. Kiké has always been a player with a very wide difference in his splits, finding much more success against southpaws throughout his career. He also has the ability to play all over the field, having lined up everywhere except pitcher and catcher. He has been a solid contributor since joining the Dodgers, but his most notable game came in the 2017 NLCS which saw him hit 3 home runs to help the Dodgers beat the Cubs. In 2018 he’ll likely stay in his role of platoon player against lefties and backup at virtually every position.

Tony Cingrani was the fifth Dodger to agree to a new deal. Robert Murray was the first to report the signing.

Cingrani was acquired from Cincinnati at the trade deadline. Working with Rick Honeycutt proved to be very beneficial to the lefty, who put up some of the best numbers of his career in his brief time with the Dodgers. With the departure of Tony Watson and Luis Avilan, Cingrani and newly acquired Scott Alexander will be the Dodgers main lefties in the bullpen. After having a solid final two months, as well as a great postseason in 2017, expect to see more of the same from the 28-year old moving forward.

*Update*

Alex Wood and the Dodgers settle at $6 million, per Jon Heyman.

Alex Wood is coming off a career best season in 2017. He finshed the season at 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 152.1 innings. Wood showed signs of arm fatigue down the stretch, which wasn’t overly surprising considering he only threw 60.1 innings in 2016. He likely won’t have the same issue in 2018 now that he’s had that workload, at least it shouldn’t be to that degree. Despite the fatigue, Wood was productive in October after extended rest in September. Expect Wood to be a key piece of the Dodgers’ rotation in 2018.

Joc Pederson reportedly agreed to a new one-year deal with the Dodgers for an undisclosed amount.

Joc’s 2017 season was filled with highs and lows. He started the season well, but spent time on the DL after a collision with Yasiel Puig in the outfield. He wasn’t the same player when he returned, and was eventually sent to AAA. Despite his struggles, Joc ended up becoming a big contributor in the postseason. He went 6 for 18 with 3 home runs during the World Series and was one of the Dodgers bright spots on offense. Hopefully Joc can carry his postseason success into 2018 and get back to being the solid player we all know he can be.

Yimi Garcia also avoided arbitration with a one-year deal earlier in the off-season.

With all of the players agreed to one-year deals, the Dodgers will have no players taking place in arbitration hearings. This is nothing new for them, as they haven’t had one since 2007.

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Written by Hunter Thompson

Born in Pennsylvania but comes from a long line of Dodger fans from their Brooklyn days. Extremely passionate about the Dodgers and baseball in general. News writer and Twittercaster for Dodger games. Follow me on Twitter @Officialism27 for more Dodgers talk!

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