The first arbitration-eligible player signed on Wednesday, as the Dodgers and Chris Hatcher agreed to a one-year deal.
According to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers and Chris Hatcher agreed to a one-year, $1.065 million dollar contract, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing.
Hatcher only has just over two years of service time under his belt, giving him “Super Two” status that I’m sure none of our readers will make an inappropriate joke about. By being in the top-22 percent of service time among players with between two and three years of service time, Hatcher received an extra year of arbitration. His $1.065M contract is a hefty raise from the $522,500 he received last year.
Hatcher was acquired from the Marlins in the Dee Gordon swap and after a scoreless appearance on opening day, gave up five earned runs in his next two appearances. He slowly chipped away at his 33.75 ERA (one 1/3 innings into the season) and got it down to 6.38 on June 14th before hitting the DL with a strained oblique. Hatcher missed just over two months, and came back more or less untouchable.
In 20 2/3 innings between August 15 and October 4, Hatcher faced 80 batters. He gave up 13 hits, six walks, three runs (all on solo home runs) and struck out 26 batters. He pitched in four of the Dodgers’ five postseason games and allowed a single baserunner, which came on a walk.
When Hatcher is on, he and Kenley Jansen form a filthy back-end of the bullpen. Hatcher is still under team control until 2020 and should be a vital part of the Dodgers’ bullpen for the next few years. He turned 31 yesterday.
In minor league news, the Dodgers signed Jordan Schafer to a minor league contract. The 29-year-old outfielder will make $1M if he makes the major league squad, which seems like an uphill battle given the Dodgers glutton of outfielders. Schafer is a career .228 hitter in six major league seasons, but has stolen 103 bases in 133 career attempts.