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Dodgers 2024 salary arbitration overview

10 players eligible for arbitration this year

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we are officially in the year 2024, we can start to think more about 2024 things. One of the first orders of business in January is salary arbitration, with a lot of activity expected during the second week of the year.

The Dodgers have 10 players eligible for salary arbitration this year, headlined by catcher Will Smith and pitcher Walker Buehler. Smith is one of the best catchers in baseball and entering his second year of arbitration eligibility, after earning $5.25 million in 2023 in his first time through the process. Buehler did not pitch in the majors in 2023, spending the year rehabbing from his second Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair, a dual procedure done in August 2021.

Smith and Buehler are projected to earn the most among arbitration-eligible Dodgers, but we’ll get to those in a minute. Other Dodgers eligible for arbitration this year are swingman Ryan Yarbrough and lefty reliver Caleb Ferguson, each of whom will be eligible for free agency after this season. Dustin May has just over four years of service time and is coming off his own second major elbow surgery; if he pitches in 2024, it likely wouldn’t be until later in the season.

Evan Phillips and Brusdar Graterol, the Dodgers’ two best relief pitchers, are eligible for arbitration for a second time after Super Two status last year. Shortstop Gavin Lux and reliever J.P. Feyereisen, both of whom missed all of 2023 after surgery, as well as southpaw Alex Vesia all reached three years of service time and are eligible for the first time.

The exchange date in this collective bargaining agreement falls on the second Friday of the year, which in 2024 means January 12. That serves as a soft deadline of sorts, as players and teams try to work out a deal beforehand. Otherwise, each side submits one salary figure. Should the two sides not be able to reach agreement, an arbitration hearing will be scheduled for some time between January 26 and February 20.

In an arbitration hearing, both sides argue for their salary, and a three-person panel will pick one side or the other. Nothing prevents teams and players from continuing to negotiate after the exchange date, but some teams are loosely considered as having a “file and trial” philosophy, in that they won’t negotiate after the exchange date; if they file a salary, they’ll go to a hearing.

The Dodgers have generally been a “file and trial” team, though they have still continued to negotiate for multi-year contracts. Over the last nine offseasons, 70 Dodgers players have gotten to this point in the arbitration process, and 63 reached contract agreements by the exchange date, including nine out of 10 last January.

Two of the seven salary filers went to a hearing, both in 2020. The Dodgers prevailed in their hearing with Joc Pederson, and Pedro Báez won his hearing that year. Those were the first arbitration hearings for the Dodgers since Joe Beimel in 2007.

Five times the Dodgers have reached multi-year contracts with players after exchanging salary arbitration figures:

Considering 90 percent of arbitration-eligible Dodgers under the Andrew Friedman-led front office, expect many deals as the exchange date of January 12 approaches.

Here are the 10 Dodgers who are eligible for arbitration this year, with projections from both MLB Trade Rumors and Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Dodgers eligible for salary arbitration in 2024

Player Pos 2024 age Service time 2023 salary 2024 MLBTR 2024 Cot's Average proj.
Player Pos 2024 age Service time 2023 salary 2024 MLBTR 2024 Cot's Average proj.
Walker Buehler SP 29 5.168 $8,025,000 $8,030,000 $8,025,000 $8,027,500
Ryan Yarbrough LHP 32 5.117 $3,000,000 $3,800,000 $4,000,000 $3,900,000
Caleb Ferguson LHP 27 5.093 $1,100,000 $2,300,000 $2,250,000 $2,275,000
Will Smith C 29 4.090 $5,250,000 $9,300,000 $9,000,000 $9,150,000
Dustin May SP 26 4.059 $1,675,000 $2,400,000 $2,250,000 $2,325,000
Brusdar Graterol RHP 25 3.167 $1,225,000 $2,500,000 $2,550,000 $2,525,000
Evan Phillips RHP 29 3.136 $1,300,000 $3,400,000 $3,100,000 $3,250,000
Gavin Lux SS 26 3.114 $750,000 $1,100,000 $900,000 $1,000,000
J.P. Feyereisen RHP 31 3.108 $750,000 $1,000,000 $900,000 $950,000
Alex Vesia LHP 28 3.078 $750,000 $1,200,000 $1,500,000 $1,350,000