Slugger Cody Bellinger and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed on a one-year, $17 million contract to keep away from arbitration earlier than the Dec. 1 lockout that has shut down Main League Baseball and frozen transactions, sources accustomed to the settlement advised ESPN.
The deal was not introduced after the lockout, as groups will not be referencing gamers by title through the work stoppage that has lasted greater than three weeks and can stretch into the brand new yr.
Bellinger, 26, is coming off the worst season of his profession, hitting .165/.240/.302 with 10 residence runs in 95 video games. His postseason efficiency, nevertheless, rekindled reminiscences of his 2019 season, wherein he hit .305/.406/.629 with 47 residence runs and received the Nationwide League MVP award.
As a result of arbitration salaries nearly all the time improve, Bellinger will make $900,000 greater than he did in 2020. The Dodgers both needed to pay Bellinger within the neighborhood of $17 million or non-tender him, which might have made him a free agent.
The deal, which isn’t assured till Bellinger makes the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster, represents his third time by arbitration. Following his MVP season, Bellinger set a report wage for a first-time-eligible participant at $11.5 million. He is because of attain free company after the 2023 season.
Bellinger arrived as a 21-year-old in 2017 and hit 39 residence runs en path to profitable NL Rookie of the 12 months. After regressing in his second season, he confirmed his full potential in 2019, taking part in a well-above-average proper discipline and spending time in heart along with first base, the place he performed most as a rookie.
When Bellinger was wholesome in 2021 — a hairline fracture in his left leg, a rib fracture and a hamstring pressure precipitated him to overlook time — he was the Dodgers’ every-day heart fielder and patrolled it effectively. Although his bat by no means caught up, the deal signifies Los Angeles believes he’ll return to type.