Dodgers avoid arbitration with Austin Barnes, tender 9, non-tender Yimi Garcia

It took awhile to become official, but the Dodgers tonight tendered contracts to nine of their 12 arbitration-eligible players — including Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager and Julio Urias.

The Dodgers also avoided arbitration with Austin Barnes by agreeing to a 1-year, $1.1 million deal. He was projected to make $1.3 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Barnes is coming off another tough offensive season (.203/.293/.340, 68 wRC+), but he’s still the best framing catcher the Dodgers have — that is, until Will Smith gets a shot at full-time, full-season work. For just a little more than a million bucks, the Dodgers could do far worse for a backup catcher. The Dodgers also avoided arbitration with Scott Alexander, as reported last night.

They also parted ways with Yimi Garcia, who was projected to make $1.1 million via arbitration. Some of his numbers look really good, but he was incredibly home run-prone (5.19 FIP, 2.17 HR/9) in 2019 and never regained the form that he showed all the way back in 2015. Another determining factor in the non-tender decision is the fact Garcia is out of minor-league options, so the Dodgers (or any team) couldn’t send him to the minors without exposing him to waivers should he struggle. He ends his 5-plus year stint with the Dodgers with a 3.66 ERA, 4.47 FIP, 1.8 HR/9, 21.1 K-BB% and a 0.1 WAR over 159 2/3 innings.

Of the remaining nine players arb-eligible players, Bellinger projects to make the most, with Seager checking in second. A more complete breakdown of that situation can be found here.

The Dodgers’ 40-man roster stands at 39 with the non-tendering of Garcia.

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.