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Dodgers sign right-hander Chris Hatcher to avoid arbitration

Dodgers sign right-hander Chris Hatcher to avoid arbitration
Dodgers reliever Chris Hatcher, shown throwing a scoreless eighth inning against the Mets inGame 5 of the NLDS on Oct. 15, epitomized the bullpen this season: stellar at times and shaky at others. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

That's one down, five to go.

The Dodgers and reliever Chris Hatcher avoided arbitration Wednesday when the right-hander agreed to a one-year, $1.065-milllion contract.

That's a significant raise for Hatcher, who earned $522,500 last season, his first with the Dodgers. MLB Trade Rumors had projected he would sign at $900,000.

Five Dodgers are still unsigned and eligible for salary arbitration – Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, Yasmani Grandal, Scott Van Slyke and Luis Avilan. This was the first year Hatcher was eligible for arbitration.

Hatcher, who turned 31 on Tuesday, had an uneven season in 2015 after coming over to the Dodgers from Miami in the Dee Gordon trade. He was originally expected to lock down the eighth inning, but struggled early as the set-up man.

In his first 27 appearances, most while closer Jansen was out, he put up a 6.38 earned-run average and a 1.58 WHIP. After missing 54 games with an oblique strain, he had a 1.31 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in his final 22 games.

Overall on the season, Hatcher went 3-5 with four saves, a 3.69 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.

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