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Dodgers contract minutiae for Danny Duffy, Tyler Anderson & Jimmy Nelson

Let’s check in on some details and bonuses

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The latter half of MLB’s offseason condensed into a few weeks that coincided with the start of spring training did not allow a lot of time to slow down and catch all the details of various moves. They were just happening too fast.

Last Friday alone, the Dodgers signed Danny Duffy, Tyler Anderson, and Freddie Freeman, and traded Luke Raley to Tampa Bay. Coupled with Thursday’s signing of Jimmy Nelson, the Dodgers maneuvered the 60-day injured list to essentially sign three players using one roster spot.

Freeman was obviously the big move, and was covered accordingly, including sinking into the details of his heavily-deferred six-year, $162 million contract. But let’s look at a few other intricate details of some of those other deals.

Danny Duffy

Duffy will earn $3 million in 2022, when he hopes to be pitching by June after surgery to repair his flexor tendon in October. The Dodgers hold a club option for 2023 for $7 million, but that can increase by another $3 million based on games and innings pitched, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Duffy’s base salary for 2023 goes up by $500,000 for each of five games, 10 games, and 15 games pitched in 2022. He also gets an extra $500,000 tacked onto next year’s base salary for each of five innings, 10 innings, and 15 innings pitched this year.

If Duffy’s option for 2023 is exercised, he can potentially earn an extra $6 million in incentives — $750,000 for each of 100 innings, 110 innings, 120 innings, and 130 innings; $1 million for each of 140 innings, 150 innings, and 160 innings.

If the Dodgers exercise Duffy’s option and he earns every incentive, the contract could be worth $19 million over two seasons.

Jimmy Nelson

Recovering from Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair, Nelson is targeting a September return this year, which means effectively his contract incentives only apply if the Dodgers pick up his 2023 option. His salary details were reported by Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic:

Nelson was a starting pitcher for most of his career until switching to relief as injuries wreaked havoc during the last four years. His contract includes bonuses for both short and longer outings, the details coming from Greg Beacham at the Associated Press.

Nelson can earn up to $2 million in total for relief appearances under 3⅓ innings — $250,000 for each of 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, and 65 games. He can earn up to an extra $4 million based on a point system. Nelson gets one point for each start, or for each relief appearance of at least 3⅓ innings. The bonuses:

  • $250,000 for each of 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 points
  • $500,000 for each of 22, 24, 26, 28, and 30 points

Nelson in the last four seasons has pitched a total of 51 innings. Last year he pitched in 28 games, including one start as an opener, the most he’s pitched in any of the last four seasons. None of his outings in 2021 was longer than two innings, and if he matches that in 2023 would not have reached any of his bonuses.

Tyler Anderson

This is the simplest one of the group. In addition to Anderson’s $8 million salary for 2022, the left-hander will get another $500,000 if he throws 100 innings, per Heyman.