The Phillies and right-handed reliever Seranthony Dominguez have agreed to a one-year deal worth $727,500 to avoid arbitration, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsend.
Dominguez, 26, was a revalation during his rookie season in 2018, pitching to a 2.93 ERA and striking out 11.5 hitters per nine innings in 53 appearances. But he struggled out of the gate in 2019, and has not pitched since an UCL injury in early June of that season.
Originally, it looked as though Dominguez could avoid Tommy John surgery and return for the Phillies at the beginning of 2020. He re-injured his elbow in Spring Training, however, and underwent the operation in July. It is not a guarantee that Dominguez will even pitch in 2021, but he could appear in August or September.
Tim Dierkes and Matt Swartz of MLB Trade Rumors predicted that Dominguez would recieve $900,000 in arbitration, and both sides likely agreed to a lesser deal with these circumstances in mind.
Last month, Phillies Nation Editorial Director Tim Kelly detailed why the Phillies could non-tender Dominguez this offseason. Now, it is clear that they are willing to bet on his long-term production.
The Phillies are not keeping Dominguez just for the chance of his production in 2021. They are investing in him beyond then, and if he progresses well in 2021, it feels like this move guarantees they tender him a contract for 2022 as well.
The Phillies have several other players to decide on prior to the non-tender deadline, which is on Wednesday. The name to keep an eye on is Vince Velasquez, who is coming off another mediocre season and is entering his final year of arbitration with the Phillies.
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