Thursday, November 8, 2012

Never Said Winning Was Cheap...

The Giants are definitely not complaining about their 2 Championships in the past 3 years.  In fact they may be laughing all the way to the bank with all the merchandise sold and new season ticket holders they have next season.  That being said, the money that comes in necessitates money going out for player salaries and the total will grow again this year.

Bruce Bochy (left) and Brian Sabean
After years staying at or under a $100 million payroll, the Giants last year rose payroll to over $130 million and despite a few contracts next year coming off the books (Rowand, Sanchez, Huff), there are quite a few players who will either be getting raises or need to be re-signed for considerably more money.

So that being said I'm going to be doing some accounting today for your enjoyment and in some ways to add some depression to your life.

Here are the players currently signed through the 2013 season and their salaries:

Barry Zito - $19.5 million
Tim Lincecum - $22.25 million
Matt Cain - $20.83 million
Ryan Vogelsong - $5 million
Madison Bumgarner - $7 million
Javier Lopez - $4.25 million
Pablo Sandoval - $5.7 million

Total: $84.53 million

These are the players who are under the Giants' control for 2013 but are arbitration eligible along with my projections for their salary.

Brian Wilson - $8.5 million
Sergio Romo - $5 million
Buster Posey - $6 million
Santiago Casilla - $3 million
Clay Hensley - $1 million
Gregor Blanco - $2 million
Hunter Pence - $13 million

Total: $38.5 million

Finally, these are the players who are Free Agents with their projected salary or marked as someone I think the Giants will let go.

Angel Pagan - $10 million (3-4 year contract)
Marco Scutaro - $7.5 million (2 year contract)
Freddy Sanchez - wont re-sign
Aubrey Huff - wont re-sign
Ryan Theriot - $1.5 million (1 year contract)
Guillermo Mota - $1.5 mil (1 year contract)
Jeremy Affeldt - $6 million (2-3 year contract)
Melky Cabrera - wont re-sign

Total: $26.5 million

Grand Total: $149.53

If you add the various players still in their minimum rookie contracts like Hector Sanchez, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford the payroll will surpass $150 million for the first time in Giants' history.

As of now the Giants have shown every indication that they're willing to re-sign all 3 of their top free agents, Pagan, Scutaro and Affeldt, but if the Giants want to stay even remotely close to their $130 million payroll from last year they will have to decide which one of these players they will simply let go.  In the case of these three, it may not even be up to the Giants, as the thin free agent market might force teams to overpay for their services and keep the Giants from re-signing them.

At 37 years old, Scutaro looks like the Giants' best bet if he'll accept a 2 year deal.  Without a clear successor in the farm system at second base yet, Scutaro would make for a great placeholder until that day comes.  However the cheaper alternative would be if Freddy Sanchez would accept a minimum 1 year deal and if Theriot can hold down 2nd for awhile.

Angel Pagan had a spectacular season as well and will be able to test a market that is low on athletic center fielders.  He most likely will be able to garner interest in a 4-5 year deal with about $10 million a year.

Jeremy Affeldt as much as I love this guy may be the odd man out.  In a free agent class nearly devoid of solid left handed relievers, Affeldt will be able to demand a premium for his services.  Brandon League a right handed specialist on the Dodgers re-signed for 3 years and $22.5 million dollars.  An even better Jeremy Affeldt most likely commands at least this amount for 2-3 years.  With Runzler waiting in the wings, it might be time that the Giants have to part ways with Affeldt. 

Another possible decision the Giants make is that they may non-tender Brian Wilson who could be owed $8.5 million next year.  For a guy coming off his second Tommy John surgery it's always a risk to commit that kind of money.  However, Sabean might wanna keep the Beard if he gets good news regarding his status.

Buster Posey won the Silver Slugger award, NL Comeback Player of the Year award and is a finalist for the NL MVP to be announced next week.  He might need to get a bigger trophy case...

Left Field Laws

The record for the first year of arbitration is $10 million for Ryan Howard.  Although some might say Posey is an even better player than Howard was at that point, $6 million would already be a record number for a catcher.

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