Ricky Nolasco ($2.4 salary year 4)
2008 - 212 IP, 15-8, 3.52 era, 1.10 whip, 186 K
2009 - 136.1 IP, 9-8, 5.22 era, 1.26 whip, 136 K
Reasonable Expectation Season Line - 185 IP, 12-10, 4.50 era, 1.25 whip, 180 K
Ricky is going to be an interesting case. Ace type year 2008, ace type half season, worst pitcher ever half season. This is going to go to an arbitrator for sure. I can’t see the Marlins offering him anything based on the horrible year, and I’d do the same thing, and Ricky’s agent is going to be “45 of 60 starts have been ace quality.” This one is probably the most volatile. Even more volatile than JJ. Alright so.
David Bush (Year 4 salary - $2.55)
2008 - 185 IP, 9-10, 4.18 era, 1.14 whip, 109 K Year 4, Year 5 Salary $4 million.
Nate Robertson (Year 4 salary $3.25)
2007 - 177.2 IP, 9-13, 4.76 era, 1.47 whip, 119 K / Year 5 $4.25 (part of a contract)
Joe Blanton (year 4 $3.7)
2008 - 197.2 IP, 9-12, 4.69 era, 1.41 whip, 111 K . Year 5 $5.7 (Arbitration)
So these are all over the place. Notice these are all losing pitchers, the best one (whip right?) makes the least money. Why? Because Robertson and Blanton started higher off on the money in year 4 because they threw more innings in years 2 and 3. So the arm surgery is going to hurt Ricky here a bit just because he is starting lower than all of them, at $2.4.
But Ricky is better than all of them. He has the best overall season in 2008. He has been ace like half of this year. His first half will certainly knock him down so he doesn’t drop a $3 million raise into the mid $5 million range, but he certainly has to be above the $1 million Robertson got, and probably a little over Bush’s $1.5 raise because he’s likely going to have more wins, similar era, ton more K, and an overall “better career” rating to tip the scale. Will he get a $2+ million raise? That’ll be interesting and where the aforementioned arbitration battle will concern.
Low - $4. This is between a Bush/Blanton raise.
Medium - $4.5. This is almost doubling his salary, and over the Blanton raise in dollar value. He gets this level because he’s better than Blanton, so despite starting lower on the pay scale than Joe, he gets the same dollar value moving up. This is of course, assuming the final line and Ricky really needs to be awesome to lower his era/etc. this low. If not, it will go closer to Bush. But I’m working under the assumption Ricky is a beast over his final 10 starts.
High - $5. Inflation really drives it up. Find it unlikely.