LA brings Taylor back on four-year deal
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are bringing back Chris Taylor, who was arguably their most irreplaceable free agent.
The super utility man came to an agreement with the club on a four-year deal that will keep him in Dodger Blue through at least 2025., the club announced on Wednesday.
The club did not confirm the terms of the deal, but per MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, it is a four-year, $60 million deal with a fifth-year option that could increase the total value to $73 million. ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report the agreement.
Though the Dodgers had a number of big names hit free agency this year, Taylor, 31, stands out due to his unique profile. Roster versatility has been key to the Dodgers’ success over the past several seasons, and no one has exemplified that better than Taylor. Not only did he capably play six different positions last year, he was well above average at the plate, slashing .254/.344/.438 in 148 games and earning his first career All-Star Game selection. There aren’t many players in baseball with that kind of ability, let alone ones currently available in free agency.
Originally acquired from the Mariners for right-hander Zach Lee in June 2016, Taylor, at the time exclusively an infielder, added the outfield to his repertoire in ‘17, allowing the Dodgers to deploy him just about anywhere on the field as needed. In five full seasons with Los Angeles, he has a slash line of .265/.343/.461 with a 114 OPS+.
More than that, Taylor has been responsible for some of the Dodgers’ biggest moments in that span. He was co-MVP of the 2017 National League Championship Series, when he went 6-for-19 with two homers, a double, a triple and three RBIs in five games. In 62 postseason games, he has a .259/.364/.478 slash line with nine home runs, including a walk-off blast in the ‘21 Wild Card Game against the Cardinals. In Game 5 of the NLCS against the Braves, with L.A. facing elimination, he became the 11th player to homer three times in a postseason game.
Taylor joins Andrew Heaney and Daniel Hudson among the free agents the Dodgers have signed this offseason.