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Josh Fields 2017 salary arbitration preview

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Division Series - Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Three Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Our salary arbitration previews continue today with the third consecutive pitcher who was a part of the Dodgers’ postseason bullpen last year, with right-hander Josh Fields.

The Dodgers acquired Fields from the Astros at the non-waiver trade deadline of Aug. 1, and he pitched his way into an October role with a 2.79 ERA in 22 games, with 22 strikeouts and eight walks in 19⅓ innings.

Fields has three years, 92 days of major league service time, though this is his second time through salary arbitration. Fields had exactly three years of service time heading into 2016 and signed a one-year deal worth $900,000 with Houston.

Fields is in many ways comparable to the left-handed Luis Avilan, both going through a second year of arbitration despite not having four years of service time. Both spent time in Triple-A in 2016.

So we’ll use the same group of comparable pitchers for Fields that we used for Avilan.

Non-closing relief pitchers with 3 years of service time

Pitcher Years Service G IP BB K ERA ERA+ FIP rWAR fWAR Salary
Pitcher Years Service G IP BB K ERA ERA+ FIP rWAR fWAR Salary
Josh Fields 2013-2016 3.092 186 178.3 65 219 4.34 91 2.99 0.2 2.8 TBD
Bryan Shaw 2011-2014 3.081 247 239.0 82 202 3.01 131 3.11 3.0 1.8 $1,550,000
Justin Wilson* 2012-2015 3.035 210 199.3 81 193 3.03 124 3.22 2.9 2.4 $1,525,000
Tim Collins* 2011-2014 3.097 228 211.0 121 220 3.54 117 3.89 1.8 0.8 $1,475,000
Rex Brothers* 2011-2015 3.131^ 286 242.3 140 278 3.42 132 3.68 5.0 2.0 $1,420,000
Dale Thayer 2009-2014 3.071 226 214.0 51 188 3.36 106 3.64 1.7 1.1 $1,375,000
Bryan Morris 2012-2015 3.011 187 197.3 80 140 2.78 133 4.17 2.6 -1.1 $1,350,000
Adam Ottavino 2010-2014 3.087 184 244.7 90 241 4.05 110 3.64 3.8 2.3 $1,300,000
David Carpenter 2011-2014 3.016 188 186.7 65 201 3.62 105 3.42 1.8 1.5 $1,300,000
Jake Diekman* 2012-2015 3.049 217 195.0 102 245 3.65 107 3.04 0.8 2.5 $1,255,000
Brad Brach 2011-2015 3.063 217 246.3 122 260 3.25 118 3.96 2.5 0.6 $1,250,000
Vinnie Pestano 2010-2014 3.054 204 191.0 79 231 2.83 138 3.44 4.6 2.4 $1,150,000
Fernando Abad* 2010-2014 3.073 196 179.7 58 148 3.61 108 4.08 1.6 0.6 $1,087,500
Brandon Kintzler 2010-2014 3.101 165 174.0 46 127 3.26 120 3.63 1.8 0.9 $1,075,000
Aaron Loup* 2012-2015 3.083 228 211.0 52 176 3.11 130 3.36 3.1 2.1 $1,050,000
*left-handed pitcher; ^Super Two

Fields is an interesting case because his performance has not matched his peripherals throughout his major league career. Among the 15 pitchers listed above, Fields has the highest ERA but the best FIP, and has the best fWAR but the worst rWAR. He also has the second-fewest innings pitched in his career among this group.

The average salary of the other 14 pitchers was $1.297 million.

2017 guess

MLB Trade Rumors projected a salary of $1.2 million for Fields in 2017. I’ll go with the rough midpoint between that projection and the average of the comps above, and guess $1.25 million.