Mike Baxter signs one-year deal with Dodgers, avoids arbitration

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers claimed Baxter off waivers from the Mets on Oct. 17.

The Dodgers on Friday reached agreement with outfielder Mike Baxter on a one-year contract for 2014 per his agency, Beverly Hills Sports Council. The contract is worth $700,000, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Baxter, who turns 29 on Dec. 7, was claimed by the Dodgers off waivers from the Mets on Oct. 17. He hit .189/.303/.250 in 74 games with New York last season with six doubles, a triple and five stolen bases in 155 plate appearances. In parts of four seasons with the Mets, Baxter hit .229/.335/.348 in 194 games.

He has played mostly in the corner outfield positions, with 85 career games and 575 innings in right field and 38 games and 166 innings in left field. He has one career game in center field, a start on Sept. 20, 2012. He had one chance in seven innings.

Baxter has two years, 128 days of major league service time, making him eligible for salary arbitration for the first time as a Super Two, meaning he is in the top 22% in service time among players with at least two but not three years of service. He made $500,318 in 2013.

There were five outfielders with Super Two status last winter, thanks to the arbitration tracker at MLB Trade Rumors: Tyler Colvin (made $2.275 million in 2013), Brandon Moss ($1.6 million), Chris Heisey ($1.35 million), Gregor Blanco ($1.3 million), and Sam Fuld ($725,000). But the first four all played at least semi-regularly in 2012 (between 296 and 496 plate appearances), while Fuld was more comparable to Baxter's 2013 season.

Fuld hit .255/.318/.327 in 44 games and 107 plate appearances for the Rays in 2012. Which makes Baxter's $700,000 right in line.

The Dodgers have six more players eligible for salary arbitration: Clayton Kershaw, A.J. Ellis, Ronald Belisario, Kenley Jansen, Scott Elbert and Drew Butera. The deadline to tender 2014 contracts is Monday, but that is really more of a procedural move in most cases. But for arbitration-eligible players on the fringes of the roster, like Butera or the post-surgery Elbert for example, Monday is decision day for teams: do they get brought back, likely with raises, or get made free agents?

The actual salary figures for arbitration-eligible players who don't reach contract agreements will be handled in January. The filing date for 2014 is January 14, with players and teams exchanging salary figures on January 17.

The Dodgers now have $186.8 million committed to 14 players in 2014.

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