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Dodgers avoid salary arbitration with Walker Buehler

Buehler signs reported 2-year, $8 million contract

National League Championship Series Game 6: Atlanta Braves v. Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Dodgers signed ace right-hander Walker Buehler to a two-year, $8 contract, per multiple reports, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing.

Buehler’s $2 million signing bonus is split into two payments, per the Associated Press: $1 million due on March 1, and $1 million due on January 15, 2022. Had the two sides not agreed to a contract, Buehler and the Dodgers would have had their arbitration hearing on Thursday.

With two years, 168 days of major league service time, Buehler was eligible for salary arbitration as a Super Two, among the top 22 percent of players with at least two years but not yet three years of service time. That gives Buehler four years of arbitration eligibility instead of the usual three, and this contract covers the first two of those years.

On the January 15 exchange date, Buehler filed at $4.15 million with the Dodgers filing at $3.3 million. His 2021 salary of $2.75 million plus half the signing bonus is $3.75 million, slightly over the midpoint of $3.725 million.

There are also bonuses built into the contract, per Ken Rosenthal:

Buehler in 2020 had a 2.77 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 23 walks in 61⅔ innings in both the regular season and postseason combined, with the Dodgers winning 11 of his 13 starts.

This is the third multi-year contract agreed to with a player after exchanging arbitration figures in the last two offseasons. Last year, the Dodgers signed Max Muncy to a three-year contract and Chris Taylor to a two-year deal, buying out the remaining arbitration seasons for both players.

The Dodgers still have one remaining salary arbitration case remaining this month, with catcher Austin Barnes.