Cody Bellinger Snags Record-Breaking Deal to Avoid Arbitration


Cody Bellinger and the Dodgers on Friday evening agreed to a one-year deal worth a reported $11.5 million, setting a record for all MLB players who were arbitration eligible for the first time.

Bellinger’s $11.5 million deal eclipsed the previous high of Kris Bryant‘s $10.85 million contract for first-timers two years ago. Last season, Bellinger made $605,000.

In 2019, Bellinger earned the National League MVP award, a Silver Slugger award and a Gold Glove award. The 24-year-old native of Scottsdale appeared in a team-high 156 games for the Dodgers, hitting .305 (170-for-558) with 34 doubles, 47 homers and 115 RBI. He ranked among the NL leaders in batting average (.305, 9th), OBP (.406, 3rd), slugging percentage (.629, 2nd), OPS (1.035, 3rd), total bases (351, 1st), home runs (47, 3rd), runs (121, 2nd), RBI (115, 7th), walks (95, 6th) and extra-base hits (84, 2nd).

Bellinger concluded his regular season campaign recording career-highs in runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, walks and stolen bases. He finished fourth in the majors in homers and third in franchise history with 47 homers in a season, finishing behind only Shawn Green (49) and Adrian Beltre (48). His 9.0 bWAR was the highest in the bigs.

Also avoiding arbitration among Los Angeles players were Corey Seager, Enrique Hernandez, Ross Stripling and Julio Urias. Seager agreed to $7.6 million, Hernandez landed a $5.9 million deal, Stripling secured a $2.1 million contract (including a $1.5 million signing bonus) and Urias accepted a $1 million deal.

Last month, Austin Barnes and Scott Alexander both agreed to deals to avoid arbitration, signing contracts worth $1.1 million and $875,000, respectively.

For those players who did not agree to terms for the 2020 season, the process of exchanging numbers with the team began later on Friday. Four players—Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Pedro Baez—are still without contracts.

Here are the details of the first round of negotiations which remain open:

  • Pederson filed for $9.5 million and the Dodgers countered at $7.75 million
  • Muncy filed for $4.675 million and the Dodgers countered at $4 million
  • Taylor filed for $5.8 million and the Dodgers countered at $5.25 million
  • Baez filed for $4 million and the Dodgers countered with $3.5 million

Teams and players are permitted to agree new contracts right up until the scheduled hearings, which will begin on February 3.

The Dodgers have not taken part in a hearing since 2007.


13 thoughts on “Cody Bellinger Snags Record-Breaking Deal to Avoid Arbitration

  1. Question: Joc filed for 9.5 mil and Dodgers countered at 7.75. Let’s say we trade him to the White Sox tomorrow and they don’t reach a deal with him before his arbitration hearing. Do they go into the hearing with the Dodgers’ number or do the Sox get to come up with their own number?


  2. Joc is a 3 WAR player in his prime. If he were a free agent he would get a lot more than $9 million. I would think all these guys will reach an agreement quickly. There is no reason to create bad blood here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. New report says the Red Sox more likely to move Price than Betts. The owner has backed off of the getting under the CBT and is more concerned about putting a winning team on the field. Bradley JR. is still on the market. Some are wondering why Brock Holt has not found a new team yet. Another report says the Dodgers are interested in free agent pitcher, Danny Salazar. Which fits since he has been injured for quite a while.


  4. Kind of fun to look over the transactions page. I did not even realize that Grant Dayton was still active. I thought he was out due to injury. But the Braves just gave him a one year deal. I really liked his stuff when he was a Dodger. Hill wrote a thank you note to LA. Not going to really miss him that much myself. He did some good things, but i still think he took up a valuable roster spot in the playoffs and should never have started game 4.


    1. I don’t remember Dayton ever starting a playoff game for us. When was that?
      I do remember that his first season here (I think it was 2016) was really pretty spectacular. Next year, not real good, but maybe he was already injured by that time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dayton was strictly a reliever. He pitched in the playoffs in 2016. He had a bad game against DC, but did better against the Cubs in the series loss to them. He pitched in 54 games over 2 years as a Dodger, was left off of the 2017 playoff roster. In 2016 he was a much better pitcher. His K to walks ratio was excellent. In 2017, not nearly as good and his ERA doubled. His Whip the first year was 0.759, and the second it jumped to 1.310. He was claimed off waivers by Atlanta in Nov 2017.


      2. My bad Bear. I thought you were referring to Dayton starting a playoff game when it was Hill you were speaking about.


  5. Todd Frazier signs a one year deal with the Texas Rangers. Also has an option for a second year. Seems Texas is now out of the Donaldson sweeps entirely. Puig still has not found a new home. And his options are dwindling.


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