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Cody Bellinger agrees to 1-year, $16.1M contract with Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers star outfielder and first baseman Cody Bellinger agreed to a one-year, $16.1 million contract Friday with the World Series champions to avoid salary arbitration.

The team also agreed to one-year deals with shortstop Corey Seager ($13.75 million) and left-hander Julio Urias ($3.6 million), but it couldn’t come to terms with ace Walker Buehler or catcher Austin Barnes.

Bellinger was the 2019 National League MVP and 2017 NL Rookie of the Year. He hit a career-low .239 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs in the shortened season, down from a .305 average with 47 homers and 115 RBIs in 2019, all career bests.

He slumped to a .136 average (3-for-22) with one homer and three RBIs in the World Series versus the Tampa Bay Rays as the Dodgers won their first title since 1988.

A two-time-All Star, Bellinger earned $4,259,259 in prorated pay last year from an $11.5 million salary.

He is eligible for free agency after the 2023 campaign.

Seager acquired MVP honors in the NL Championship Series and World Series, batting .400 with two homers and five RBIs in the Dodgers’ six-game defeat of the Rays. He hit .307 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs during the shortened regular season.

The 26-year-old is in his third year of arbitration eligibility and can file for free agency next offseason. He made $2,814,815 in 2020, prorated out of his $7.6 million salary.

Urias put early-career health woes behind him and became a full-fledged member of L.A.’s rotation in 2020 for the first time, going 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 11 games, with 10 starts. He made two starts and six appearances in the postseason and went 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA, including a save in the clinching Game 6 of the World Series.

This was the 24-year-old’s first season of arbitration eligibility. Urias was set to earn $1 million last season and earned $370,370 in prorated pay.

Buehler, the Dodgers’ 26-year-old ace, is asking for $4.15 million in his first stab at arbitration, while the Dodgers are offering $3.3 million. The sides can still come to an agreement until an arbitrator hears their case next month and makes a ruling. If it comes to it, an arbitrator will award the case in full to one side or the other — no settling in the middle.

Buehler was 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA in eight starts during the pandemic-shortened season and then excelled in the postseason, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA over five starts. He was paid $223,519 after being set to make $603,500 prior to the pandemic. The 31-year-old Barnes hit .244 with one homer in 29 games last season, splitting time behind the plate with youngster Will Smith. He earned a prorated $407,407 pay out of his $1.1 million salary.

Barnes asked for $2 million and the Dodgers offered $1.5 million in figures exchanged Friday.

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