The Dodgers and infielder Max Muncy have agreed to a contract extension, based on an announcement from the group. Under the previous extension he signed with the Dodgers, they’d a $13MM membership possibility for his companies in 2023. That will now change into assured at $13.5MM, with the Dodgers now holding a $10MM membership possibility for 2024, plus incentives. Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times experiences that there’s no buyout on the 2024 possibility.
This extension is a little bit of an early birthday current for Muncy, as he’ll flip 32 years previous on Thursday. The lefty slugger was a late bloomer by main league baseball requirements, having his breakout season in 2018 on the age of 27. That yr, he hit 35 residence runs and slashed .263/.391/.582 for a wRC+ of 162, indicating his offense was 62% higher than league common. In 2019, he proved that it was no fluke, hitting 35 homers once more and slashing .251/.374/.515 for a wRC+ of 133. He additionally offered defensive versatility in that point, transferring between first, second and third base.
After these two robust seasons, Muncy lastly reached arbitration for the primary time in his profession, on the age of 29. He and the membership didn’t come to an settlement, with the membership submitting for $4MM whereas Muncy’s camp submitted a $4.675MM. Before the listening to occurred, the 2 sides agreed to a longer-term pact, operating by means of 2022 with the choice for 2023. Since Muncy was on tempo to achieve free company after 2022, that extension successfully relinquished one yr of free company whereas permitting him to ensure himself $26MM in future earnings, and doubtlessly extra.
Muncy slumped a bit throughout the shortened 2020 marketing campaign however was wonderful within the postseason, serving to the Dodgers win their first World Series title since 1988. Last yr, he acquired again to the tempo he established in 2018 and 2019, as he hit 36 residence runs and produced a batting line of .249/.368/.527, wRC+ of 140. Unfortunately, he injured his arm in a collision on the finish of the season, an damage which prohibited him from taking part in final yr’s postseason.
That damage has seemingly lingered into 2022, as Muncy frolicked on the injured checklist because of left elbow irritation and struggled over the early components of the season. However, the nice model of Muncy has been roaring again just lately. Through the tip of July, he was hitting .161/.310/.303 for a wRC+ of 82. Since the calendar flipped to August, although, he’s hit seven residence runs and slashed .328/.409/.776, rising his wRC+ for the season to 105.
That August line continues to be a small pattern of simply 66 plate appearances, however the Dodgers evidently have sufficient religion in Muncy that they’re keen to re-up with him for yet another yr. If that present of religion pays off, they are going to be rewarded by being able to maintain Muncy round for yet one more season. It additionally helps scale back a little bit of uncertainty within the membership’s infield image. The Dodgers held membership choices over each Muncy and Justin Turner, whereas Trea Turner is slated to change into a free agent in just a few months’ time. While it was doable to check a state of affairs the place all three ended up in new uniforms subsequent yr, now the membership is aware of that it a minimum of can rely on Muncy to take a spot someplace on the diamond. There’s additionally uncertainty within the outfield, with Joey Gallo heading into free company and Cody Bellinger a possible non-tender candidate. With gamers like Muncy, Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux and others bringing that multi-positional skillset, they’re in a great place to navigate their choices within the offseason.
For Muncy’s half, he can end the season and go into the playoffs with the peace of thoughts of getting his 2023 wage locked in with a slight increase. The particulars of the incentives aren’t but identified, however that doubtlessly gives him an opportunity to safe some extra earnings as properly.
Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic was amongst these to report the extension earlier than the official announcement.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.