Dodgers star Cody Bellinger agreed to a $16.1 million, one-year contract Friday with the World Series champions that avoided salary arbitration.
Los Angeles also agreed to one-year deals with shortstop Corey Seager for $13.75 million and left-hander Julio Urías for $3.6 million, but couldn’t come to terms with ace Walker Buehler or catcher Austin Barnes.
Bellinger, an outfielder and first baseman, was the 2019 NL MVP and 2017 NL Rookie of the Year. He hit a career-low .239 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs in the shortened season, down from a .305 average with 47 homers and 115 RBIs, all career bests.
He slumped to a .136 average (3 for 22) with one homer and three RBIs in the World Series against Tampa Bay as the Dodgers won their first title since 1988.
A two-time-All Star, Bellinger earned $4,259,259 in prorated pay last year from an $11.5 million salary. He is eligible for free agency after the 2023 season.
Seager won MVP honors in the NL Championship Series and World Series, batting .400 with two homers and five RBIs in the Dodgers’ six-game defeat of the Rays. He hit .307 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs during the shortened regular season.
The 26-year-old is in his third year of arbitration eligibility and can file for free agency next offseason. He made $2,814,815 in 2020, prorated out of his $7.6 million salary.
Urías put early-career health woes behind him and became a full-fledged member of LA’s rotation in 2020 for the first time, going 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 11 games, 10 starts. He made two starts and six appearances in the postseason and went 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA, including a save in the clinching Game 6 of the World Series.
This was the 24-year-old’s first season of arbitration eligibility. Urías was set to earn $1 million last season and earned $370,370 in prorated pay.
Walker Buehler, the Dodgers’ 26-year-old ace, is asking for $4.15 million in his first stab at arbitration, while the Dodgers are offering $3.3 million. The sides can still come to an agreement until an arbitrator hears their case next month and makes a ruling. If it comes to it, an arbitrator will award the case in full to one side or the other — no settling in the middle.
Buehler was 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA in eight starts during the pandemic-shortened season and then excelled in the postseason, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA over five starts. He was paid $223,519 after being set to make $603,500 prior to the pandemic.
The 31-year-old Austin Barnes hit .244 with one homer in 29 games last season, splitting time behind the plate with youngster Will Smith. He earned a prorated $407,407 pay out of his $1.1 million salary. Barnes asked for $2 million and the Dodgers offered $1.5 million in figures exchanged Friday.