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Tony Cingrani & Josh Fields 2018 salary arbitration preview

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After previewing four salary arbitration-eligible players, we are left with three Dodgers relief pitchers to go through the process this winter. Two of them — Tony Cingrani and Josh Fields — have over four years of service time, so we’ll look at them together.

This would have been a three-pitcher preview but Luis Avilan was traded to Chicago on Thursday.

Tony Cingrani has four years, 88 days of major league service time and Josh Fields has four years, 83 days. Though he has started just one time in the last three years, Cingrani’s career numbers are affected a bit with his 30 career starts, while all 243 of Fields’ career appearances have been in relief.

There are quite a few relievers with similar service time as Fields and CIngrani to go through the arbitration process over the last three winters. Here are the career numbers of 20 of them, plus the two Dodgers.

Comparable 4+ relief pitchers (career)

Players Years Service IP Sv K ERA+ FIP rWAR fWAR Salary
Players Years Service IP Sv K ERA+ FIP rWAR fWAR Salary
Tony Cingrani 2012-17 4.088 312 17 330 101 4.45 2.4 1.3 TBD
Josh Fields 2013-17 4.083 235⅓ 11 279 101 3.28 1.0 3.2 TBD
Brad Brach 2011-16 4.063 325⅓ 3 352 134 3.71 5.1 2.3 $3,050,000
Jared Hughes* 2011-16 4.162 309⅓ 3 189 136 4.09 3.6 -0.6 $2,825,000
Bryan Shaw 2011-15 4.081 303 7 256 134 3.56 4.2 2.0 $2,750,000
Justin Wilson 2012-16 4.035 258 1 258 118 3.21 3.3 3.4 $2,700,000
Jake Diekman 2012-16 4.050 248 4 304 112 3.15 1.8 3.2 $2,550,000
Marc Rzepczynski* 2009-14 4.132 310⅓ 1 286 109 3.85 3.1 2.2 $2,400,000
Adam Warren 2012-16 4.036 354⅔ 5 297 112 3.96 4.6 3.0 $2,290,000
Craig Stammen* 2009-14 4.160 486⅔ 1 367 101 3.70 3.4 4.8 $2,250,000
Junichi Tazawa 2009-14 4.086 203⅔ 1 198 128 3.16 3.2 2.9 $2,250,000
Carlos Torres 2009-16 4.114 418⅓ 4 374 100 4.04 3.6 1.7 $2,175,000
Yusmeiro Petit 2006-14 4.016 399 0 357 86 4.35 1.4 3.2 $2,100,000
Aaron Crow 2011-14 4.000 233⅔ 6 208 120 4.16 2.3 -0.2 $1,975,000
Zach McAllister 2011-16 4.077 484⅔ 1 437 98 3.83 1.9 6.1 $1,825,000
Esmil Rogers 2009-14 4.088 421 0 355 77 4.43 -2.7 1.7 $1,480,000
Jeanmar Gomez 2010-15 4.063 424 1 253 91 4.32 1.0 1.1 $1,400,000
Fernando Salas 2010-14 4.048 251 24 247 110 3.40 3.1 2.0 $1,370,000
Cesar Ramos 2009-14 4.003 246⅔ 1 198 97 3.95 0.9 0.5 $1,312,000
Blake Wood 2010-16 4.131 203⅔ 2 182 99 4.18 1.3 0.2 $1,275,000
Aaron Loup 2012-16 4.040 225⅓ 6 191 126 3.43 3.2 2.1 $1,125,000
Fernando Rodriguez 2009-15 4.032 191 0 205 90 3.90 -0.2 1.0 $1,050,000
*Super Two Thanks as always to MLB Trade Rumors, Cot’s Baseball Contracts & Baseball-Reference

Very roughly, the five relievers that look most similar to Fields from a career standpoint are Justin Wilson, Jake Diekman, Junichi Tazawa, Aaron Crow and Fernando Salas. The salary range for the fifth season for these pitchers was wide, from $1.37 million (Salas) to $2.7 million (Wilson), with an average of $2.17 million.

The most similar to Cingrani — again, just eyeballing here — seem to be Marc Rzepczynski, Adam Warren, Carlos Torres and Yusmeiro Petit. Those four had an average salary of $2.24 million.

MLB Trade Rumors projected a salary of $2.2 million in 2018 for both Fields and CIngrani, so this seems about right.

Let’s now look at these relievers and their launch-year numbers:

Comparable 4+ relief pitchers (single year)

Players Years Service IP Sv K ERA+ FIP rWAR fWAR Salary Prev. Increase
Players Years Service IP Sv K ERA+ FIP rWAR fWAR Salary Prev. Increase
Tony Cingrani 2017 4.088 42⅔ 0 52 103 4.68 0.0 0.0 TBD $1,825,000 TBD
Josh Fields 2017 4.083 57 2 60 148 4.18 0.8 0.3 TBD $1,050,000 TBD
Brad Brach 2016 4.063 79 2 92 210 2.92 2.6 1.6 $3,050,000 $1,250,000 +144.0%
Jared Hughes* 2016 4.162 59⅓ 1 34 137 4.68 0.9 -0.3 $2,825,000 $2,175,000 +29.9%
Bryan Shaw 2015 4.081 64 2 54 146 4.01 1.2 0.2 $2,750,000 $1,550,000 +77.4%
Justin Wilson 2016 4.035 58⅔ 1 65 103 3.18 0.4 1.1 $2,700,000 $1,525,000 +77.0%
Jake Diekman 2016 4.050 53 4 59 135 3.54 1.0 0.7 $2,550,000 $1,255,000 +103.2%
Marc Rzepczynski* 2014 4.132 46 1 46 143 2.85 0.6 0.6 $2,400,000 $1,375,000 +74.5%
Adam Warren 2016 4.036 65⅓ 0 52 91 5.12 -0.5 -0.5 $2,290,000 $1,700,000 +34.7%
Craig Stammen* 2014 4.160 72⅔ 0 56 98 3.19 0.1 0.6 $2,250,000 $1,375,000 +63.6%
Junichi Tazawa 2014 4.086 63 0 64 140 2.94 0.8 0.9 $2,250,000 $1,275,000 +76.5%
Carlos Torres 2016 4.114 82⅓ 2 78 156 3.75 2.3 0.7 $2,175,000 $950,000 +128.9%
Yusmeiro Petit 2014 4.016 117 0 133 94 2.78 0.9 1.8 $2,100,000 $845,000 +148.5%
Aaron Crow 2014 4.000 59 3 34 96 5.40 -0.4 -1.1 $1,975,000 $1,475,000 +33.9%
Zach McAllister 2016 4.077 52⅓ 0 54 132 4.01 1.1 0.4 $1,825,000 $1,300,000 +40.4%
Esmil Rogers 2014 4.088 45⅔ 0 44 68 4.73 -0.5 -0.2 $1,480,000 $1,850,000 -20.0%
Jeanmar Gomez 2015 4.063 74⅔ 0 50 128 3.25 1.3 0.8 $1,400,000 $800,000 +75.0%
Fernando Salas 2014 4.048 58⅔ 0 61 107 2.93 0.6 0.6 $1,370,000 $870,000 +57.5%
Cesar Ramos 2014 4.003 82⅔ 0 66 101 4.24 0.4 -0.1 $1,312,000 $750,000 +74.9%
Blake Wood 2016 4.131 76⅔ 1 81 107 4.12 0.6 0.3 $1,275,000 $600,000 +112.5%
Aaron Loup 2016 4.040 14⅓ 0 15 87 4.33 0.0 0.0 $1,125,000 $1,050,000 +7.1%
Fernando Rodriguez 2015 4.032 58⅔ 0 65 102 3.08 0.3 0.8 $1,050,000 $635,000 +65.4%
+70.3%
*Super Two Thanks as always to MLB Trade Rumors, Cot’s Baseball Contracts & Baseball-Reference

I’m not sure if this provides any more clarity. Petit pitched 117 innings in 2014 so he probably drops off as a comparable player to Cingrani, who threw just 42⅔ innings in 2017.

The average increase from year four to year five for these 20 pitchers was 70.3%. Cingrani made $1.825 million in 2017, and a 70.3% increase would be $3.11 million. That seems high. A 70.3% increase for Fields, who made $1.05 million last year, would mean $1.79 million in 2018.

The guess

Cingrani has better bulk numbers in his career than Fields and earned more in 2017, so I think Cingrani will again make more than Fields in 2018. I’ll guess $2.3 million for Cingrani next season and $1.9 million for Fields.