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Andrew Toles contract, explained: Why Dodgers renewed deal despite ex-outfielder’s place on MLB restricted list

The 2024 MLB offseason was all about the Dodgers. 

Los Angeles spent big this past winter, landing the top two free agents on the market. First the Dodgers made a monster splash by winning the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, signing the elite two-way threat to a record-breaking deal. 

Then the Dodgers landed Yoshinobu Yamamoto, one of the most highly-touted Japanese prospects in recent history. The team signed the ace to an extremely lucrative deal, flexing their financial power.

But the signing that had without a doubt the most individual impact was neither Ohtani or Yamamoto — rather, it was the contract handed out to Andrew Toles on Wednesday.

Toles, 31, has not played in the MLB since the 2018 season. The ex-outfielder is currently on the MLB’s restricted list, however the Dodgers elected to renew his contract for his sixth consecutive season. 

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So why are the Dodgers signing a player who won’t be playing baseball this season? The Sporting News explains the Toles contract and his situation. 

Andrew Toles contract

Toles’ contract was renewed by the Dodgers for the 2024 season. 

It is a one-year deal that carries a salary of $740,000 if he is in the majors and $120,600 if he is in the minors. It is classified as a pre-arbitration contract.

Why is Andrew Toles on the restricted list?

Toles has been on the restricted list since March of 2019 due to his diagnosis of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The outfielder has not played since the 2018 season, and it does not appear as though he will suit up on the diamond again. The reason why the Dodgers have kept him on their payroll with a contract is so Toles can continue to receive health insurance, a kindhearted gesture by the team to help a player who is suffering from mental health issues. 

It was reported back in 2021 that Toles had been to “at least” 20 mental health clinics since his departure from the Dodgers, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Toles’ father, Alvin, gained legal guardianship of his son after he was found sleeping at Key West International Airport in Florida following a 2020 arrest. 

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“We are having challenges, but nothing that God and I can’t handle,” Alvin Toles said in the 2021 interview with USA Today. “Schizophrenia, it’s just so tough. I mean, he can’t even watch TV. He hears voices and the TV at the same time, so it’s kind of confusing. I’ve seen him looking at some baseball games on his laptop, but I don’t think he really understands what’s going on.

“I just want him to have a chance in life. That’s all. Just to be healthy, live a normal life.”

Toles played for the Dodgers from 2016 to 2018, his only three seasons in the MLB. He appeared in 96 games, slashing a total of .286/.333/.459 during his time in Los Angeles. He became a fan favorite during the team’s run to the NLCS that postseason, as he hit for an impressive 111 OPS+ and batted .462/.467/.615 in the series against the Cubs. 

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