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Chris Hatcher 2016 salary arbitration preview

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Up next on our stroll through salary arbitration is Chris Hatcher, who is poised for potentially the first of four seasons of eligibility to go through the process.

Hatcher has two years, 146 days of service time, and qualifies as a "Super Two" this offseason. Generally, the arbitration years are after each of three, four and five years of service time, with free agency coming after six years of major league service. But the Super Two category includes the top 22 percent of major league players with at least two but not yet three years of service time.

This season, both Hatcher and outfielder Scott Van Slyke are Super Twos. Notable Dodgers Super Twos in the last decade include Russell Martin, Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis.

In some cases, Super Two status makes it more difficult to find comparable players. But there are so many relief pitchers in baseball, there are actually quite a few we can look at to see what Hatcher might make in arbitration.

Recent Super Two relievers
Closer Years Svc Time IP Saves BB K ERA ERA+ FIP rWAR fWAR Salary
Chris Hatcher 2010-15 2.146 128⅔ 4 39 130 4.48 86 3.51 -0.3 0.8 tbd
Kelvin Herrera 2011-14 2.157 214 5 68 210 2.56 161 3.05 4.8 3.3 $1,600,000*
Casey Fien 2009-14 2.143 174⅓ 1 37 165 3.92 104 3.57 1.7 2.0 $1,375,000
Jared Hughes 2011-14 2.162 183 2 61 119 2.95 125 4.00 1.4 -0.5 $1,075,000
Javy Guerra 2011-14 2.133 148 30 67 125 2.91 125 3.57 3.2 1.0 $937,500
Louis Coleman 2011-14 2.162 174⅓ 2 76 185 3.25 127 4.30 2.8 0.3 $725,000
Al Alburquerque 2011-13 2.147 105 0 71 155 2.98 141 2.86 2.6 1.8 $837,500
Jake McGee 2010-13 2.127 151 1 48 181 3.28 118 3.04 2.2 2.5 $1,450,000
Pedro Strop 2009-13 2.156 163⅓ 4 88 165 3.86 110 3.60 2.8 1.7 $1,325,000
Vinnie Pestano 2010-13 2.160 172⅓ 11 74 205 2.82 139 3.47 4.4 2.2 $975,000
*First year of a two-year contract

We can probably remove Herrera since he signed a two-year contract and also is the only one of the group with even close to 200 innings, and he went over.

The only one on this list with fewer innings than Hatcher is Alburquerque, who had a much better ERA than Hatcher and 25 more strikeouts in 23 fewer innings. The two others closes to Hatcher in innings, Guerra and McGee, both have better career performance than Hatcher, and Guerra has the 30 saves under his belt to boot.

Hatcher's best bet is to argue more on his last two seasons (3.51 ERA, 2.90 FIP, 105 strikeouts in 95 innings, 107 ERA+) rather than his career numbers, which paints him in a more favorable light compared to these other players.

But we aren't talking about a big range here anyway. The average of the seven non-Herrera comps above is just over $1 million, though Hatcher's career numbers among the group are relatively below average.

2016 guess

Hatcher was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to have a $900,000 salary in 2016. But I think Hatcher comes up just short, earning $850,000 in 2016.

These arbitration studies are made much easier thanks to Baseball-Reference, Cot's Baseball Contracts, MLB Trade Rumors and FanGraphs.