Despite the historic deal given to Trevor Bauer and the fresh re-signing of Justin Turner, the Dodgers aren’t finished handing out contracts. This time Los Angeles signed Austin Barnes to a two-year deal worth $4.3 million. The new contract essentially buys out the remaining two years of Barnes’ contract as he will be able to test free agency.
The Dodgers have agreed on a two-year, $4.3M contract with catcher Austin Barnes, avoiding arbitration, source tells @TheAthletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 15, 2021
Barnes had filed for arbitration and was seeking to get $2 million for the upcoming season, while the Dodgers countered with $1.5 million. The new deal should satisfy both sides as Barnes gets the amount he wanted and Los Angeles locks him up on a team friendly deal with only a slight raise in 2022.
Barnes isn’t known for his offensive capabilities as he’s only managed a .230 batting average with 18 home runs and 89 RBIs across parts of 6 seasons with the Dodgers. However, he’s come through in some clutch situations over the years. He isn’t a superstar by any means, but his presence on the roster has been duly noted. Austin’s value comes from behind the plate where he’s able to defensively get the job done and work the pitching staff pretty well. Unfortunately for him, Will Smith will only continue to get better and hoard most of the catching duties.
The agreement between Barnes and the Dodgers shores up the roster and players who were heading to arbitration. Walker Buehler was the other who filed for arbitration before agreeing to a two-year deal with the team as well.