Sources: Bellinger’s $11.5M deal sets record

The Los Angeles Dodgers avoided arbitration with 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger on Friday, agreeing to an $11.5 million deal for 2020, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

That’s a record for a first-time-eligible player, beating the $10.85 million Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant agreed to last year.

Bellinger, 24, batted .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs and 15 stolen bases through what became a breakout season in 2019, on a salary of $605,000.

Bellinger also played elite defense at three positions and captured the Gold Glove in right field. He became the first in franchise history to win the Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and MVP in the same season.

Bellinger won Rookie of the Year in 2017, then suffered through the proverbial sophomore slump in 2018. He worked with Dodgers hitting coaches in the offseason, scorched through the early portion of the 2019 season and turned himself into one of the game’s superstars.

Shortstop Corey Seager agreed to a $7.6 million, one-year deal with the Dodgers on Friday, also skipping arbitration.

Seager missed most of the 2018 season following Tommy John surgery. He hit .272 with 19 homers and 87 RBIs last year, tying for the NL lead with 44 doubles. He earned a raise from a $4 million salary in 2019.

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