LA avoids arb with Belli, Seager; not Buehler

January 16th, 2021

The Dodgers avoided arbitration with two of their key players on Friday, when star outfielder agreed to a $16.1 million deal and 2020 World Series MVP agreed to a $13.75 million deal for '21, a source told's Mark Feinsand.

Left-hander and right-hander also agreed on their salaries for the 2021 season. But right-hander and catcher have not yet come to a settlement, and both players exchanged proposed salary figures with the organization at Friday’s deadline.

If the Dodgers cannot come to an agreement with Buehler and/or Barnes, an independent arbitrator will pick between proposals from the team and player and decide on a 2021 salary.

According to Feinsand, Buehler filed for $4.15 million, while the Dodgers countered at $3.3 million, putting the midpoint at $3.725 million. Barnes, meanwhile, filed for $2 million, while the Dodgers countered at $1.5 million, with a $1.75 million midpoint.

For Buehler, it’s his first trip through the arbitration process as a “Super Two,” meaning he isn’t slated to hit free agency until after the 2024 season at the earliest. He owns a 3.15 ERA across four seasons in the big leagues -- plus a remarkable 2.35 mark in the postseason.

Barnes, meanwhile, is in his second year of the arbitration process after making $1.1 million last season. The dates for the two potential hearings have not yet been scheduled.

As for Bellinger, he agreed to a one-year, $11.5 million deal with Los Angeles last year, setting a record for any player in his first year of arbitration. As a fellow Super Two player, Bellinger still has two more years of arbitration eligibility left in 2022 and ’23 before he could potentially reach free agency.

While Bellinger didn’t quite reach the heights of his 2019 National League MVP Award campaign last season, the 25-year-old still came up big with clutch home runs and spectacular defensive plays in center field to help the Dodgers claim their first World Series championship since 1988.

Bellinger finished the abbreviated 2020 regular season with a .239/.333/.455 batting line (113 OPS+) but continued to hit for power with 12 home runs in 213 at-bats. Bellinger also tied for MLB’s best outfield defender by Statcast’s Outs Above Average metric with a +7 total, and he was baseball’s best overall defender at +8 OAA when factoring his +1 OAA total at first base.

Seager, meanwhile, is currently in line to become one of the top free agents on the market next winter. Following a brilliant October in which he was named MVP of both the World Series and NL Championship Series, Seager received a raise more of than $6 million on his $7.6 million salary from 2020.