The Tigers avoided arbitration with starter Rick Porcello, MLBTR has learned, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.1MM. Porcello recently made the easy decision to take arbitration over a $1.344MM option in the Major League deal he signed when drafted. Porcello started from a higher salary than most pre-arbitration players, at $1.536MM in 2011 from that Major League deal. With two years and 170 days of Major League service, the 23-year-old Hendricks Sports client was arbitration eligible as a Super Two player. His settlement may be relevant for Jordan Zimmermann and others.
The Tigers' remaining arbitration eligible players are Phil Coke, Don Kelly, Max Scherzer, and Delmon Young, as our tracker shows.
It’s a fair price given Rick’s track record… IMO he has been good at times but also just as bad at times.
3.1 mil for a back of the rotation starter with enough talent (and youth) to still have a high upside is a deal as far as I’m concerned. At the going rates for pitchers if he goes 170 innings with an ERA under 5 this is still a good deal.
This looks like a fair number
Here are the comps for first year arbitration eligible starting pitchers that settled for one year contracts:
Joe Saunders, 3.013, $ 3.7 million for one year
Justin Verlander, 3.002, one year, 3.675 million
Matt Garza, 2.149, 3.35 million for one year
Rick Porcello, one year, $ 3.1 million
Jeremy Guthrie- 3.130, one year for $ 3 million
Kevin Slowey: 3.063, got $2.7 mil for one year
Wandy Rodriguez, 3.105, one year, $ 2.6 million
Scott Feldman, 3.091, 2.425 million for one year.
Ricky Nolasco, 2.142, one year, $ 2.4 million
Edwin Jackson, 3.070, one year for $ 2.2 million
Zach Duke, 3.094, one year, $ 2.2 million
This looks like a fair number based on comps of recent first year eligible starting pitchers, but the number is quite a bit lower than projections. Matt’s model had forecast Kid Rick to get $ 4.2 million. My guesstimate was about the same, although I don’t really even have a “model”, I just look at comps. So, why the difference?
I just had written an article at Bless you boys, which is posted now, and it was slated to run a matter of hours after the Tigers made their announcement of this deal with Porcello. I looked at Scherzer and Porcello- both former first round picks, both first time arbitration eligible. One difference is that Porcello spent more time in the minors since his call up, bumping him BACK to Super two status. That just means he’ll have an extra season under club control, and four years of arbitration eligibility, while Max will hit free agency one season sooner, barring any demotions for him.
I did make reference and link up Matt’s projections, which are usually spot on, for the Tiger players that are arb eligible this winter. My guess is that Rick’s innings were slightly on the low side, maxing out at 182 last season, and a 4.75 ERA is a little on the high side. Despite excellent win totals and averaging 30 starts, those factors knocked him down a bit.
The other factor that I thought would play here is that Rick signed a Major league contract (now a thing of the past), so he has a higher salary history. What say you, Mr Swartz? I’d be interested to know your take on why the projection was $ 1.1 million higher than what he settled for.