By Sam Bush
The Nationals have avoided arbitration with Michael A. Taylor with a one-year contract that will pay the outfielder $3.325 million plus incentives in 2020.
Taylor was one of four Nationals who was unsigned heading into today’s deadline for all arbitration-eligible players and teams to either come to terms or submit competing offers to Major League Baseball to then be settled by a three-person judge in February.
Trea Turner, Roenis Elías and Joe Ross are all attempting to sign their deals without going to arbitration.
Taylor presented an interesting salary case. The 28-year-old outfielder actually took the Nationals to arbitration last winter and lost, making $3.25 million instead of the $3.5 million he was seeking. He then struggled at the plate early in 2019, was optioned to Double-A and wound up spending most of the year in Harrisburg before he was called up in September and became a key contributor in the postseason.
MLBTradeRumors.com had projected him to receive no raise at all, signing another $3.25 million contract. In the end, Taylor was able to earn a slight raise of $75,000.
The new contract does include incentives: Taylor would receive another $25,000 if he gets at least 300 big league plate appearances this season, according to the source. That would require far more playing time with the Nationals after he got only 97 regular season plate appearances in the majors in 2019.