For the first time in 14 years, Pedro Báez is no longer a Dodger. The longtime Los Angeles reliever has a two-year contract with the Astros, first reported by Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, and confirmed by several others.
The deal is pending a physical. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com has financial details, including a total guarantee of $12.5 million and a club option for 2023.
$2M buyout on 2023 club option and includes IP escalators that could increase value to $8M and buyout to $2.5M. https://t.co/h4OgvVaZ5S— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) January 14, 2021
Báez, who turns 33 in March, had a 3.18 ERA and 4.43 FIP in 18 games in 2020, a season that was marred by a decrease in fastball velocity and a groin injury that sidelined him for over three weeks.
He recovered to pitch eight of the Dodgers’ 18 postseason games, posting a 33.3-percent strikeout rate with a 3.52 ERA in 7⅔ innings in October.
Signed as an amateur free agent (as a third baseman!) in 2007, Báez converted to pitching in 2013. In seven major league seasons, Báez has a 3.03 ERA and 3.61 FIP with 369 strikeouts in 356 innings. His 355 games pitched are seventh-most in relief in Dodgers history. Báez’s 31 postseason games are third-most in team history, behind only Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw.
Báez had $4 million salary in 2020, last winter becoming the first Dodgers player to win a salary arbitration case since Terry Adams in 2001. Pro-rated for the 60-game season, Baez earned $1.48 million last season.
The Dodgers play the Astros in Houston on May 25-26 this season, and host them at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 3-4.
Báez is the third Dodgers free agent to sign this offseason. Jimmy Nelson re-upped with Los Angeles on a minor league deal on Dec. 11, and reliever Blake Treinen signed a two-year, $17.5 million contract to return to the Dodgers on Jan. 5.