Sources have told The Athletic that the Los Angeles Dodgers have signed infielder Max Muncy to a three-year deal worth $26 million. Included in that deal is also a $13 million club option for 2023 and a $1.5 million buyout. The deal avoids arbitration for Muncy, but more importantly, solidifies an already potent lineup for the Dodgers.
Muncy was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2012 and initially struggled in the minors, but was finally called up by the A's in 2016. He put up dismal numbers, hitting below and just slightly above the Mendoza line in a short stint in the Big Show, and had negative numbers in WAR (player value). The Athletics may have a reputation for seeing something in players that other teams overlook, so perhaps it was fortuitous for the Dodgers that the A's released Muncy at the end of Spring Training in 2017.
The Dodgers gave Muncy a shot, and he excelled. According to Baseball Reference, in two years with the Dodgers, Muncy hit a slash line of .256/.381/.545 and had a cool .927 OPS. Muncy also belted 70 home runs and hit 177 RBI over the last two years with LA. Suddenly, Muncy's player value (WAR) jumped to 10.0 over two seasons with the Dodgers. Muncy is also a valuable infielder, with the flexibility to play first, second, and third base.
The Dodgers are waiting on the huge three-team trade involving the highly-sought-after Mookie Betts. The details of that trade involve Betts and David Price going to the Dodgers, and the Red Sox getting Alex Verdugo from LA and prospect Brudal Graterol from Minnesota. In return, the Twins would get pitcher Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers.
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the only thing holding up the deal at this point is that Boston has some questions about Brusdal Graterol's arm health.
The deal to extend Muncy is a solid move for the LA Dodgers. With a lineup that would include Muncy, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and soon Mookie Betts - pitchers might be shaking in their cleats.