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Luis Avilan 2016 salary arbitration preview

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers acquired left-handed pitcher Luis Avilan as part of their three-team, 13-player swap with the Braves and Marlins on July 30, 2015. The reliever is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this winter, having reached three years of service time.

Avilan has three years, 77 days of major league service time, having pitched for parts of four seasons for Atlanta and Los Angeles. The lefty specialist had a 4.05 ERA and 3.66 FIP in 73 games in 2015, with 49 strikeouts and 15 walks in 53⅓ innings, ,and in his career has a 2.96 ERA and 3.46 FIP in 241 career games, with 145 strikeouts and 68 walks in 197⅔ innings.

Tuesday, Jan. 12 is the date for players to file for salary arbitration, with Friday, Jan. 15 the date for players and clubs to exchange salary figures.

Trying to zero in on a possible salary for Avilan in 2016, let's look at some comparable non-closing relievers from last offseason.

Recent comparable non-closing relievers
Closer Years Svc Time G IP BB K ERA ERA+ FIP rWAR fWAR Salary
Luis Avilan* 2012-15 3.077 241 197⅔ 68 145 2.96 128 3.46 3.2 1.1 tbd
Brandon Kintzler 2010-14 3.101 165 174 46 127 3.26 120 3.63 1.8 0.9 $1,075,000
Fernando Abad* 2010-14 3.073 196 179 58 148 3.61 108 4.08 1.6 0.6 $1,087,500
Vinnie Pestano 2010-14 3.054 204 191 79 231 2.83 138 3.44 4.6 2.4 $1,150,000
Adam Ottavino 2010-14 3.087 184 244 90 241 4.05 110 3.64 3.8 2.3 $1,300,000
David Carpenter 2011-14 3.016 188 186 65 201 3.62 105 3.42 1.8 1.5 $1,300,000
Dale Thayer 2009-14 3.071 226 214 51 188 3.36 106 3.64 1.7 1.1 $1,375,000
Tim Collins* 2011-14 3.097 228 211 121 220 3.54 117 3.89 1.8 0.8 $1,475,000
Bryan Shaw 2011-14 3.081 247 239 82 202 3.01 131 3.11 3.0 1.8 $1,550,000
*Left-handed

Most of the comparable relief pitchers here have more strikeouts than Avilan. Of the two other left-handers, Collins stands out with 75 more strikeouts in just 13 more innings, but that advantage over Avilan is mitigated by 53 more walks. The best comp of the bunch just might be Abad, with similar walks and strikeouts, plus a decent advantage in ERA and WAR for Avilan.

2016 guess

Avilan was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to have a $1.1 million salary.

I think Avilan beats Abad's 2015 salary, and settles in the Pestano zone, making $1.15 million in 2016.

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