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
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.
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.