The Dodgers and right-hander Tony Gonsolin have signed a two-year, $6.65MM contract to avoid arbitration, the team announced. The deal doesn’t affect the club’s window of team control, as he’s still controllable through the 2026 season.
Fabian Ardaya of the Athletic reports the financial breakdown for the Beverly Hills Sports Council client (on Twitter). Gonsolin will make $3.25MM during the upcoming season, slightly north of the midpoint between his $3.4MM filing figure and the team’s $3MM offer. The deal contains a fairly modest $3.4MM base salary for 2024 but would allow the right-hander to tack on a decent amount if he stays healthy this year. Gonsolin’s 2024 salary would escalate by $500K apiece if he makes 14, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 28 starts this season — potentially adding $3MM to his ’24 salary. The contract also contains bonuses based on his finishes in Cy Young voting.
The Associated Press reports that Gonsolin’s 2024 salary was escalate by $1.125M if he wins the Cy Young next season, with $625K available for a top three finish and $500K if he places fourth of fifth. According to the AP, any relief appearance of at least 3 1/3 would be equivalent to a start for purposes of the escalators — presumably a means of protecting Gonsolin’s path to unlocking the escalators in the event he’s deployed behind an opener.
It’s a relatively inconsequential transaction in the bigger picture, but it locks in some cost certainty for the club and player over the next couple years. Gonsolin, who’d qualified for arbitration early this winter as a Super Two player, will still have two additional seasons of arbitration eligibility covering 2025-26. The deal wraps up the Dodgers’ arbitration work for this offseason, as they’d agreed to terms with their other nine arb-eligible players before the January 14 deadline for parties to exchange figures.
Gonsolin debuted in 2019 and worked as a depth starter for his first two-plus seasons. While the Saint Mary’s product was consistently effective, he didn’t crack a permanent spot in the Dodgers’ strong rotation until last year. During the 2022 campaign, Gonsolin cemented himself as one of the sport’s better pitchers. He posted a brilliant 2.14 ERA in 130 1/3 innings covering 24 starts. A .207 batting average on balls in play makes it unlikely he’ll maintain that ace-level run prevention, but the 28-year-old struck out an above-average 23.9% of opponents with a strong 7% walk rate. Even if his ERA takes a step back, he looks like a quality mid-rotation hurler.
The Dodgers’ payroll sits just under $222MM, as calculated by Roster Resource. The team’s competitive balance tax figure is a few million dollars above the $233MM base threshold, with Gonsolin’s $3.325MM average annual value counting against the ledger. They’re at roughly $238MM in estimated CBT obligations.
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