A Look At Chad Billingsley & His Peers

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

Player Year
Svc Time
IP W-L HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA ERA+ WAR Salary
Chad Billingsley 2010 3 yrs, 110 days
634.0 47-30 0.8 4.1 8.2 3.55 119 10.2 ???
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.

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