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.
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.