Dodgers kick off arbitration deadline madness with Walker Buehler agreement

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

No one can really say why on Wednesday night MLB decided to blindside everybody in media and move up the deadline for arbitration-eligible players. Originally scheduled to be Friday at 8 p.m. ET, it was changed to Thursday at 1 p.m. ET.

The Dodgers have 13 arb-eligible players to come to new agreements with in order to avoid going into any sticky arbitration hearings at the end of the month.

With less than an hour until that deadline, the Dodgers settled first with Walker Buehler, who will be earning $8.025 million in 2024. The news comes from FanSided insider Robert Murray with additional details from Fabian Ardaya on incentives for Buehler, who was out all of 2023 with an arm injury.

Dodgers kick off arbitration deadline madness with Walker Buehler agreement

Buehler's $8.025 million in 2024 is identical to the amount he made in 2023 because of his absence last year. It aligns very closely with MLB Trade Rumors' predicted figure at $8.03 million, which could've reflected either a tiny raise or just a round up from the actual number. Per Ardaya, Buehler's agreement includes extra incentives: $125,000 if he's NLCS MVP, $125,000 if he's World Series MVP.

Buehler is expected to come back to the team sometime in the early months of the 2024 season, but hope has dwindled for him to be ready by Opening Day. The extra cash thrown in here is maybe a little presumptuous for the Dodgers, who will, of course, have to avoid being swept by the Diamondbacks in the NLDS again for either of the incentives to be at all possible, but the team clearly thinks they have a winning roster and are putting an amount to their faith in Buehler to be able to come back in a big way.

As for his status beyond 2024? We'll just have to see how the season goes.