With the news of Josh Johnson signing a four-year, $39 million extension with the Marlins today, my thoughts turn to the Dodgers' own arbitration-eligible starting pitcher, Chad Billingsley. However, rather than sign a multi-year agreement, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported yesterday that Billingsley and the Dodgers were close on a one-year deal.
What might that 2010 salary be? Here's a look at some comparable pitchers to Billingsley, along with their salaries for their first year of arbitration. Stats are through each player's third year
|Chad Billingsley||2010||3 yrs, 110 days
|Felix Hernandez||2009||3 yrs, 60 days||666.1||39-36||0.9||2.9||8.0||3.80||114||14.3||$3.8m|
|Ervin Santana||2009||3 yrs, 104 days||706.2||51-37||1.1||2.8||7.4||4.42||101||12.0||$3.8m|
|Jon Lester||2010||3 yrs, 75 days||558.0||42-16||0.8||3.3||7.9||3.66||128||13.1||$3.75m|
|Justin Verlander||2009||3 yrs, 2 days||600.0||46-34||0.9||3.3||7.2||4.11||110||10.7||$3.675m|
|Paul Maholm||2009||3 yrs, 37 days||601.1||30-35||1.0||3.1||5.8||4.30||101||6.7||$3.5m|
Santana, Lester, and Maholm all signed multi-year contracts, and Lester's was signed early, after just two years of service time. Judging from these comps, it is reasonable that Billingsley would get somewhere between $3.5 and $3.8 million on a one-year deal. It is worth noting that even though Billingsley is coming off a poor second half, which might lower his bargaining leverage, he can look to Justin Verlander, who got a one-year deal for $3.675 million last season coming off a year in which he went 11-17 with a 4.84 ERA (and 4.18 FIP).
I have revised the payroll worksheet (and right sidebar on the front page) with an updated estimate for Billingsley at $3.75 million for 2010.