LOS ANGELES — Walker Buehler and the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers avoided a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday, agreeing to an $8 million, two-year contract that would escalate to more than $12.12 million if he starts regularly this year and wins a Cy Young Award.
Buehler gets a $2 million signing bonus, half payable of March 1 and half next Jan. 15, and salaries of $2.75 million this year and $3.25 million in 2022.
His 2022 salary can increase by $3 million to $6.25 million based on starts: by $500,000 each for 14, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 28.
Buehler’s 2022 salary would increase by more than $1.12 million if he wins the 2021 Cy Young Award or by $625,000 if he is second or third in the 2021 Cy Young voting.
A 26-year-old right-hander, Buehler was the Dodgers’ ace in helping them win their first World Series title since 1988. After going 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 2019, he was 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA over eight starts during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, then went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four postseason starts.
With the Dodgers trailing Atlanta 3 games to 2 in the NL Championship Series, he pitched six shutout innings as Los Angeles won 3-1 in Game 6.
Buehler allowed one run in six innings to beat Tampa Bay 6-2 in World Series Game 3, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the Series they won in six games.
He was eligible for arbitration for the first time after earning $223,519 in prorated pay last year from a $603,500 salary. Buehler has 2 years, 168 days of major league service and is eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.