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Dodgers sign Julio Urías, avoiding salary arbitration

LHP gets $14.25 million in his final season before free agency

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Dodgers on Friday signed pitcher Julio Urías, avoiding salary arbitration for the team’s NLDS Game 1 starter who received Cy Young votes in each of the last two seasons.

Bob Nightengale at USA Today and Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic first reported the one-year, $14.25-million deal for Urías, who is in his final year of salary arbitration eligibility before free agency looms next offseason.

Urías last season was 17-7 with a National League-leading 2.16 ERA, and also led the league in adjusted ERA+ (194), with 166 strikeouts and 41 walks in 175 innings over 31 starts. That included a dominant finishing kick, allowing 14 total runs over his final 14 regular season starts.

That earned Urías his first career Game 1 start, beating the Padres in the Dodgers’ only victory of the National League Division Series.

Urías finished third in National League Cy Young Award voting, and won the Warren Spahn Award for a second consecutive year, an honor given annually by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame to the best left-handed pitcher in the majors.

With five years, 117 days of major league service time, Urías was eligible for salary arbitration for the fourth time. He earned $1 million as Super Two in 2020, among the top 22 percent of major leaguers with at least two but not yet three years of service time. That was Urías’ first year as a full-time starting pitcher, and his salaries through arbitration have risen accordingly to reflect his larger role. He earned $3.6 million in 2021, then $8 million in 2022 before this year’s $14.25 million.

Urías will be a free agent after the 2023 season, hitting the market as a 27-year-old.

I guessed a salary of $13.6 million for Urías in 2023, while MLB Trade Rumors projected the left-hander to earn $13.7 million, and Jeff Euston at Cot’s Contracts had Urías at $13.5 million.