Dodgers bring back Chris Taylor for $60M over 4 years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers are bringing back free agent Chris Taylor, agreeing with the versatile All-Star on a $60 million, four-year deal Wednesday night that includes a club option.

The 31-year-old Taylor was an All-Star for the first time in 2021, when he hit .254 with 20 homers and set career highs with 92 runs and 73 RBIs. He hit a game-ending homer in the NL wild-card game against St. Louis, then batted .476 in the NL Championship Series against Atlanta, with three homers in Game 5.

Taylor has played every position except catcher, first base and pitcher, and is a career .261 hitter with 79 homers. He was the co-NLCS MVP in 2017 and also a key contributor when the Dodgers won the World Series in 2020.

The Dodgers retained Taylor after losing ace Max Scherzer and shortstop Corey Seager in free agency this week. Scherzer signed a $130 million, three-year contract with the New York Mets, and Seager signed a $325 million, 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers.

Taylor will be paid $15 million in 2022 and ‘23, then $13 million in ’24 and ’25. His club option for 2026 is for $12 million with a $4 million buyout.

His option price would increase by $3 million if traded before the end of the 2023 season, by $2 milliion if traded after the 2023 season and before the end of the 2024 season or by $1 million if traded after the 2024 season and before the start of the 2026 season. It also would increase by $1 million if he has 525 plate appearances in 2025 or is an All-Star or wins a Silver Slugger award that year.

He would receive a $2 million assignment bonus each time he is traded.

Los Angeles designated infielder Sheldon Neuse for assignment to clear space for Taylor on the 40-man roster.

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