Dodgers right-hander Pedro Baez won his arbitration hearing against the team, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports (via Twitter). Baez will be paid at the $4MM rate submitted by agent Kelvin Nova rather than the $3.5MM submitted by the team, as shown in MLBTR’s 2020 Arbitration Tracker.
Baez, who’ll turn 32 in a month, has been one of the Dodgers’ most-frequently-used middle relief/setup pieces since debuting back in 2014. While the L.A. organization has had bullpen troubles in recent seasons, Baez’s overall results in that time and throughout his career have been steady. In 2019, he turned in 69 2/3 innings of 3.10 ERA/3.52 FIP ball with 8.9 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and 0.78 HR/9.
Baez, who notched a career-high 25 holds in ’19, has appeared in 52 or more games in each of the past five seasons — averaging 63 appearances and 63 innings along the way. He’s never posted an ERA higher than the 3.35 mark he recorded back in 2015, and his overall body of work has perhaps quietly been terrific. In 339 innings as a big leaguer, Baez has a 3.03 ERA with 356 strikeouts (9.5 K/9) against 113 walks (3.0 BB/9).
This was Baez’s final trip through the arbitration process. As a player who currently possesses five-plus years of Major League service time, he’ll reach the free-agent market for the first time in his career next winter.
The win for Baez and Nova finally puts the players on the board in this year’s arbitration proceedings. Prior to this hearing, teams had gone 4-for-4 in arbitration hearings. The Dodgers had previously beaten Joc Pederson, while the Twins (Jose Berrios), Braves (Shane Greene) and Rockies (Tony Wolters) had also come out ahead in their own cases.