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Dodgers sign Scott Alexander and Austin Barnes, part ways with Yimi Garcia

Jorge Castillo, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers did not tender a contract to right-hander Yimi Garcia, making him a free agent, while signing left-hander Scott Alexander and catcher Austin Barnes to one-year deals before Monday's nontender deadline.

The club tendered contracts to the other nine players eligible for arbitration -- Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Corey Seager, Pedro Baez, Kike Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Ross Stripling and Julio Urias. The Dodgers can negotiate contracts with those nine players to avoid going through the arbitration process later in the winter.

Garcia, 29, is coming off his first full season in the majors. He made 64 relief appearances for Los Angeles, pitching to a 3.61 earned-run average across 62 1/3 innings. He posted an elite 0.866 WHIP, but allowed 2.2 home runs per nine innings. He did not make the postseason roster.

MLB Trade Rumors projected Garcia would've made $1.1 million through arbitration.

Barnes came to terms on a$1.1 million contract. Alexander signed for $875,000. Both deals are fully guaranteed, an unusual step for contracts executed to avoid arbitration.

Barnes, 29, was the Dodgers' opening day catcher but struggled offensively, continuing his troubles since his breakout season in 2017, until he was optioned to triple-A Oklahoma City in late July and lost the starting job to rookie Will Smith. Barnes returned in September but started just one game, totaled six plate appearances, and was left off the postseason roster. He batted .202 with five home runs and a .633 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 242 plate appearances.

With Russell Martin on the free-agent market, Barnes is currently projected to serve as the Dodgers' backup catcher behind Smith next season.

 

Top prospect Keibert Ruiz could also play a role in 2020.

The Dodgers could also look for catching help externally this offseason.

The 30-year-old Alexander compiled a 3.68 ERA in 28 games before going on the injured list with left forearm inflammation in June. He missed the remainder of the season and underwent nerve decompression surgery on the forearm in September.

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