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Dodgers sign Yency Almonte to avoid arbitration, per reports

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Kansas City Royals William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran right-handed reliever Yency Almonte and the Dodgers agreed to a new contract for 2024 with $1.9 million, per both Jon Heyman of the New York Post and Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic.

Almonte made $1.5 million in 2023 with the Dodgers, and with four years, 143 days of service time was eligible for salary arbitration again this winter. MLB Trade Rumors projected Almonte to make $1.9 million in 2024, which is exactly what he’ll make next season under his reported new deal.

Friday at 5 p.m. PT was the deadline for major league teams to tender contracts for the next season to players on the 40-man roster. This usually is most relevant for players headed for arbitration, especially if there is a gap in what the player might get through the arb process and the actual perceived value. The Dodgers last year for instance non-tendered Cody Bellinger along with Edwin Ríos and Luke Williams, making them all free agents.

This year, the Dodgers tendered contracts to all 12 players eligible for arbitration this winter. Across the league, 63 players were non-tendered.

But the tender deadline and the looming possibility of becoming a free agent tends to spur some deals as well, as was the case with Almonte, who is out of minor league options and turns 30 next June.

Almonte had a 5.06 ERA and 4.27 xERA in 49 appearances in his second season in Los Angeles, with 49 strikeouts and 24 walks in 48 innings. He did not pitch in the majors after spraining his right knee on August 11, spending the final seven weeks of the season on the injured list.

After a terrible start to the year — allowing 18 runs in his first 18 innings — Almonte was on the upswing at the time of his injury. From May 20 to August 11, the right-hander had a 2.70 ERA and 3.32 FIP in 30 innings, with 36 strikeouts (a 29.5-percent rate) and 14 walks over his final 30 appearances.