Barnes, Dodgers agree to $4.3M, 2-year deal, avoid hearing

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Catcher Austin Barnes and the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers avoided a salary arbitration hearing when they agreed to a $4.3 million, two-year contract.

The 31-year-old Barnes hit .244 with one homer and nine RBIs in 86 bats over 29 games during the pandemic-shortened season.

Barnes gets a $300,000 signing bonus payable on March 1 and salaries of $1.5 million this year and $2.5 million in 2022. His 2022 salary can escalate by up to $200,000 for games played this year: $100,000 each for 70 and 80.

He can earn $200,000 in performance bonuses in 2022: $100,000 apiece for 70 and 80 games.

Barnes was behind the plate for Clayton Kershaw’s postseason starts and for Walker Bueher’s Game 3 World Series start, hitting .325 in the postseason with one homer and three RBIs. His solo homer off Tampa Bay’s John Curtiss in the sixth inning of Game 3 extended the Dodgers’ lead to 6-1.

Barnes earned $407,407 in prorated pay from a $1.1 million salary last year. He is eligible for free agency after the 2022 season.

Barnes had been scheduled for arbitration on Tuesday and was the last Dodgers player scheduled for a hearing. Buehler agreed to an $8 million, two-year deal last week.

Three players remain scheduled for hearings this week: Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ, San Francisco second baseman Donovan Solano and Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson.

All cases are being argued over Zoom this year rather than in person because of the pandemic.

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