Scioscia Signed to Four-Year Contract

Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers signed Mike Scioscia to a four-year contract estimated to be worth close to $4 million late Monday night, hours after the catcher’s case was heard by an arbitrator.

The agreement, which was reached in the Dodger Stadium office of owner Peter O’Malley around 10:45 p.m., provides that Scioscia will be paid an estimated $2.7 million for three years, plus an option of at least $1 million for a fourth year, which would take him through the 1989 season.

Scioscia, who had been eligible to become a free agent after this season, came into Monday morning’s arbitration hearing seeking $825,000, with the Dodgers offering $650,000, a raise of $215,000 over Scioscia’s 1985 salary of $435,000.


Scioscia and his attorney, Richie Phillips, met with Dodger officials before the hearing in the Sheraton La Reina, the same airport hotel in which Fernando Valenzuela had signed a three-year, $5.5-million contract Saturday.

An agreement was not reached before the hearing, but after both sides had made their presentations before arbitrator Richard Kaegel, negotiations on a multiyear contract resumed.

“We’re proud of Mike, and we’re thrilled he’ll be with us for at least three more years,” Dodger owner Peter O’Malley said in a statement. “Hopefully, he’ll be with us for another 10 years.”

Scioscia, who batted .296 last season and came within four percentage points of becoming the first Dodger catcher since Roy Campanella in 1955 to hit .300 in a season, had gone to arbitration twice before, winning one and losing one.

“I’m proud to sign this contract in this, my 10th year in the Dodger organization,” Scioscia said in a statement.

Scioscia’s case had appeared to be strengthened on Saturday when the Chicago Cubs signed catcher Jody Davis to a three-year deal for a reported $2.9 million. Davis had a base salary of $315,000 last season, but with incentive clauses and bonuses, he made approximately the same as the Dodger catcher.

In 1985, Scioscia had a higher average than Davis (.296 to .232) and almost as many RBIs (53 to 58). And while Davis had 10 more home runs (17 to 7), Scioscia had a higher slugging percentage (.420 to .400) and on-base percentage (.407 to .300).