The Dodgers and catcher
By locking up Barnes, the Dodgers avoided going to a hearing with all eight of their arbitration-eligible players this offseason. Right-hander Walker Buehler was the other who hadn’t come to a settlement before the Jan. 15 filing deadline, but he signed a two-year, $8 million deal this week.
Earlier in the arbitration process, Barnes asked for $2 million for the 2021 season, while the Dodgers offered $1.5 million. According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, Barnes will make $1.5 million in ’21 and $2.5 million in ’22. He will also receive a $300,000 signing bonus. The two-year deal will carry Barnes into free agency at the end of the ’22 season.
Barnes is one of the best defensive catchers in the National League, ranking in the 96th percentile in Framing, per Baseball Savant. Because of his defensive skills, he has served as the perfect complementary piece to Will Smith, who is known more for his offensive prowess.
But despite the fact that Barnes isn’t the team’s starter at catcher, the 30-year-old usually plays when it matters the most. He started four of the team’s six games in the World Series, making him a valuable piece of a very talented Dodgers roster.
If the Dodgers don’t shed any payroll, they will be taxed at a 42.4 percent rate. The Dodgers’ first-round pick in next year’s MLB Draft will also be moved back 10 places as a penalty. The Dodgers believe it’ll all be worth it if it results in back-to-back World Series titles.