Dodgers slugger Max Muncy knows his worth. Luckily, he also knows the value of playing in Hollywood for a team that refuses to be non-competitive (and might just get over the hump if they decided to pay a free agent starter or two).
Muncy returned to the Dodgers last week on a contract extension that bought out his 2024 option year and could keep him in Los Angeles through 2026. Based on the way he spoke about the deal on MLB Network Monday, it would certainly seem like playing well enough to earn that third year is his intention.
So much for the popular theory that the Dodgers might pick up his 2024 option, then ship him for an upgrade. An upgrade who just so happens to hit 36 homers with top-tier patience. Those don't grow on trees.
As it turns out, Muncy entered negotiations seemingly secure in the knowledge that he wanted to stay in Los Angeles, the feeling was mutual, and he would take less money in order to facilitate a deal. With those agreeable parameters in place, he and Andrew Friedman worked quickly to take care of "the most important thing": staying a Dodger.
Dodgers Max Muncy Contract Details: "Definitely Under Value"
Now, if the Dodgers happen to need a DH after the rest of the offseason shakes out, they have a pretty good one already in place.
The goal, though, is to have Muncy at third base, diminished defense be damned, with Shohei Ohtani and his, uh, non-discount contract anchoring the lineup in JD Martinez's place.
The longtime Dodger has cashed in repeatedly after being plucked from the A's farm system, firmly planted in Quad-A territory. He was unlocked by the Dodgers' gurus, he plays in the entertainment capital of the world, and he's a member of one of the few cores in baseball that knows, bar none, that management's goal is to compete for a title every single year. Laugh all you want at the Dodgers' plight, but it might look a big different if Muncy, their Team MVP, hadn't been knocked out of the 2021 playoffs with a freakish elbow injury.
Now fully rehabilitated, he's ready to contribute in 2024 and beyond. But, if you'd asked him weeks ago, he probably would've told you that before any speculation to the contrary took place.