However, have you seen the list of impending free agents/players with contract options? That’s going to be the big mess, but at the very least, most of the front office’s energy can be focused on that with little to debate over the five players up for a raise in arbitration.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the arbitration process, players, upon making their MLB debut and beginning their service-time clock, are under team control for six years. Three of those years are considered pre-arbitration, with capped salary increases, and the final three years (or four, depending on if a player earned Super Two status, which gets them two pre-arb years and four arb years) allow said players to earn larger hikes in their pay entirely based on performance.
Guys like Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and Kris Bryant have set arbitration salary records due to their MVP-caliber play while under club control. Nonetheless, arbitration years are the final obstacle before a player’s salary is no longer “controlled” and is instead dictated by the market in free agency.
So let’s check out the Dodgers’ situation for this offseason.
Which Dodgers players are eligible for raises in arbitration for the 2022 season?
Here’s the list and projected salaries provided by MLBTradeRumors.com:
- P Scott Alexander: $1.3 million
- OF Cody Bellinger: $16.1 million
- P Caleb Ferguson: $700K
- 2B/SS Trea Turner: $19.8 million
- P Julio Urias: $8.8 million
Turner and Urias get the biggest bumps here. Turner made $13 million in 2021 and Urias collected $3.6 million. Both had among the best seasons of any player at their position, so the significant bump is warranted and we can bet an arbiter will rule in the players’ favor.
The “good” news, however, if you want to call it that, is Bellinger sticking with the same salary he made this past season. The Dodgers technically “save” money here, but it came at the expense of their former MVP putting up arguably the worst season for a full-time player in MLB. Belli slashed .165/.240/.302 with 10 homers and 36 RBI in 95 games.
Players under arbitration can still sign contract extensions, however, and we certainly wouldn’t rule out such a scenario for Turner, who will be a free agent after 2022, and Urias, who will be a free agent after 2023. As for Bellinger, he might need another year to prove he has a definitive role on this roster as one of the league’s highest-paid players given his performance since the start of 2020.
We suspect no issues here, however, because of the Dodgers’ spending power and typical behavior of treating their players well from a financial perspective.