Florida Marlins extend Ricky Nolasco

The Marlins have signed pitcher Ricky Nolasco to 3/$26.5mil deal that will take him through two arbitration years and one year of free agency as well as his age 28-30 seasons. Great deal for Florida, great deal.

Supposedly he will be paid $6mil in 2011, $9mil in 2012, and $11.5mil in 2013. So how did they fare in the arbitration years? Well using the 40/60/80 scale, he would have made about $6mil in arbitration in 2011. He would have then made about $11mil in 2012. So they come out ahead there by a couple mil. Then in 2013 they are paying him $11.5mil. That is about what we would expect a 2-2.5 WAR pitcher to earn in the year 2013.

So that’s about $9mil per year they are paying him. Using a pay scale of $4.5mil per WAR, that means Nolasco needs to be about a 2 WAR pitcher per year to earn his money. I’d say the odds of him being that are high. In 2008 he had a 3.9 fWAR, a 4.3 fWAR in 2009, and 2.5 fWAR in 2010 when he missed September. So his talent level is probably around a 3 WAR. So let’s say in 2011 he is a 3 WAR pitcher, a 2.5 WAR pitcher in 2012, and a 2 WAR pitcher in 2013. We will increase $ per WAR by .5 each season. Doing that, I have his total value at $37mil.

Good job Marlins! You lock up a good pitcher for three years, a solid length for pitchers. Considering the high injury risk associated with pitchers, going longer than four years can be risky. So they save money compared to his market value, are not handicapped by years, and keep a quality starter in their rotation during his late twenties, when he should be peaking. He will probably be gone after 2013, right when he is entering his thirties so the Marlins could be cutting ties with him at the right. And if everything goes right, he should return a draft pick or two or prospects in a trade during the 2013 season.


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