clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Will Smith, Tony Gonsolin among Dodgers to receive bonuses through pre-arbitration pool

2020 World Series Game 2: Los Angeles Dodgers v. Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Part of the new collective bargaining agreement is the establishment of a bonus pool for players not yet eligible for salary arbitration. The total pool is $50 million, the cost of which is split equally among all 30 MLB teams, which counts against competitive balance tax payroll.

Players in this group can earn bonuses for finishing in the top five in MVP or Cy Young voting, top two for Rookie of the Year, or named to the first- or second-team All-MLB team. Dylan Cease finished second in American League Cy Young voting made second-team All-MLB, and was the highest earner among pre-arb players, at just over $2.4 million, per Jesse Rogers at ESPN. Just behind him was Yordan Alvarez, who was third in AL MVP voting and the first-team All-MLB designated hitter.

Mark Feinsand has some details of the pool payouts at

“Of the $50 million, $38.75 million is reserved for statistical accomplishment (based on ‘Joint WAR’), with $11.25 million set aside for players who finished high in awards voting.”

Per the CBA, that $38.75 million is divided among the top 100 pre-arb players as ranked by MLB’s version of WAR. It’s unknown what exactly goes into “Joint WAR,” as Feinsand described, but in its press release for All-MLB teams, Major League Baseball presented “aWAR” — an average of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs WAR — among its statistics.

The full list of payouts has not yet been reported, other than Rogers and Feinsand reporting the top ten payouts. Feinsand also mentioned 11 players received over $1 million, and Dodgers catcher Will Smith, who was named to second-team All-MLB, “checked in just shy of $1 million.”

Feinsand also listed eleven other players who received at least $500,000, including Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin. Both Smith and Gonsolin are eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this offseason, with Gonsolin among the “Super Two” players with two years, 152 days of major league service time. Smith earned $730,000 in 2022, so his bonus was more than his salary. Gonsolin’s bonus was about 70 percent of his $720,000 salary.

Smith had a 4.2 bWAR and 3.9 fWAR in 2022, with an average of 4.05. Gonsolin’s average was 3.65. We don’t yet know the full list of payouts, but with 78 other pre-arb players to account for, it’s safe to assume at least a handful of other Dodgers will receive some sort of bonus.

Using average WAR as a loose metric (again, we don’t know if this is exactly what MLB used), here are the next-highest-ranked pre-arb Dodgers from 2022:

  • Gavin Lux 2.75
  • Evan Phillips 2.5
  • Trayce Thompson 2.4
  • Alex Vesia 1.5