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Max Muncy, Dodgers agree to $26 million, 3-year contract

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 6, 2020

In this Oct. 9, 2019 photo, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy celebrates his two-run home run against the Washington Nationals during the first inning in Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles. Muncy and the Dodgers agreed to a $26 million, three-year contract Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, and avoided salary arbitration. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
In this Oct. 9, 2019 photo, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy celebrates his two-run home run against the Washington Nationals during the first inning in Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles. Muncy and the Dodgers agreed to a $26 million, three-year contract Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, and avoided salary arbitration. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – Infielder Max Muncy and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a $26 million, three-year contract Thursday and avoided salary arbitration.

Muncy gets a $4.5 million signing bonus, payable within 30 days of the deal’s approval by Major League Baseball, and salaries of $1 million this year, $7.5 million in 2021 and $11.5 million in 2022. The Dodgers have a $13 million option for 2023, when he could be eligible for free agency, with a $1.5 million buyout.

His option price can escalate based on his finish in MVP voting in the next three years: $1 million for each finish among the top five, $500,000 for sixth through 10th and $250,000 for 11th through 20th, provided he receives more than one vote.

Muncy hit 35 home runs last season despite missing a lot of time in September because of a broken wrist. The 29-year-old’s offense has made him a mainstay in the lineup, and he can also play a variety of positions.

He made $575,000 last year and had been eligible for arbitration for the first time. He had asked for $4,675,000 and had been offered $4 million.

Outfielder Joc Pederson, who may soon be traded to the Los Angeles Angels, asked Elizabeth Neumeier, Walt De Treux and Howard Edelman for a raise from $5 million to $9.5 million during a hearing Thursday. The Dodgers argued for $7.75 million in their first hearing since defeating reliever Joe Beimel in 2007.

Pederson hit a career-high 36 home runs last season and improved defensively. The 27-year-old left-handed hitter hit all of his homers against right-handed pitchers.

Two other Dodgers remain on track for hearings: outfielder Chris Taylor ($5.8 million vs. $5.25 million) and reliever Pedro Baez ($4 million versus $3.5 million).

Five Dodgers eligible for arbitration had reached agreements on one-year deals on Jan. 10: NL MVP Cody Bellinger ($11.5 million), shortstop Corey Seager ($7.6 million), right-hander Ross Stripling ($1.5 million signing bonus that was payable Jan. 17, plus a $600,000 salary), left-hander Julio Urias ($1 million) and infielder-outfielder Enrique Hernandez ($5.9 million).

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