The Dodgers signed infielder Max Muncy to a one-year, $13.5 million contract for 2023, with a club option for 2024 worth $10 million plus incentives, the team announced Monday.
The guarantee for next season matches the salary of Muncy’s club option, which the Dodgers also did in May when extending Blake Treinen with an $8 million contract for 2023. This year is the final season of Muncy’s three-year, $26 million contract signed in February 2020, covering his three years of salary arbitration.
Muncy suffered a UCL tear in his left elbow on the final day of the 2021 regular season. That knocked him out of the playoffs last year, and led to a horrific start to this season, too. Through the end of July, Muncy was one of the worst hitters in the majors, hitting just .161/.310/.303.
Judging by how much patience the club showed Muncy during his struggles, there was never any real danger of his option getting declined. He started 78 of the 88 games for which he was active through the end of July, a period interrupted only by a 13-game stint on the injured list with elbow inflammation.
The faith has been rewarded in August, with a now-healthy Muncy smashing balls all over the place. He’s hitting .328/.409/.776 in 16 games this month, with nearly as many home runs (7) as he had in the first four months of the season (9).
Muncy’s seasonal line is up to .190/.326/.386, with in this year’s run-scoring environment is good for an above-average 105 wRC+. That’s up from an 82 wRC+ just three weeks ago.
Since getting called up to the Dodgers in April 2018, his 134 home runs rank 11th in the majors.
Muncy, who turns 32 on Sunday, is now one of six Dodgers under contract for 2023, along with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Chris Taylor, Austin Barnes, and Treinen. The club also holds options for next season on Justin Turner, Daniel Hudson, Hanser Alberto, Danny Duffy, and Jimmy Nelson.
Per Ronald Blum at the Associated Press, Muncy’s 2024 club option has no buyout if declined, and up to $4 million in incentives based on 2023 playing time:
- $250,000 for each of 50, 250, 300, and 350 plate appearances
- $500,000 for each of 400 and 450 PA
- $1 million for each of 500 and 550 PA
Also per Blum, Muncy “would get a one-time assignment bonus of $1 million if traded.”