In the last week and a half, there has been more action by the Giants staff to finalize contracts and add new talent. The most significant of these is the finalizing of Timmy’s contract. It seems there was a lot of negotiating going on from both sides for this one. Originally in arbitration, Timmy wanted $21.5 million and the Giants were offering $17 million. During contract negotiations, there were rumors that the Giants offered him a 5-year, $100 million contract (it’s even hard to type that number without freaking out!). Apparently, he didn’t want this – why, I haven’t been able to find out exactly (I’ll get into my thoughts on that later). Then he came back with a 2-year, $44 million contract and the Giants countered with a 2-year, $40 million contract. According to the media, this was “close,” and they assumed that they would be able to come to an agreement without going to arbitration at this point. OK – $4 million is close??? WHAT?? Professional sports are riding the crazy train! They finally decided on a 2-year, $40.5 million contract with beaucoup incentives, thus avoiding arbitration and guaranteeing his salary for the next two years (could have potentially been a lot higher than this if they had to go to arbitration again next year). Here are the details: He will make $18 million for 2012 and $22 million for 2013 with a $500K signing bonus. Then, he has the following incentives: $500K for winning his 3rd Cy Young, $250K for coming in 2nd, $100K for 3rd, $75K for 4th, $50K for 5th. If he wins in 2012, the bonus in 2013 would be $1 million. He gets $250K for NL MVP, $150K for 2nd, $100K for 3rd, $75K for 4th, and $50K for 5th. He would also get $100K for being selected as an All-Star and $50K for a Gold Glove award. I have never heard of anyone getting a contract with this many incentives in it (anyone else?).
So, I’ve heard all kinds of takes on this in the media. Some say Timmy got the best of the deal, some say the Giants did, some say it’s a win-win. Here’s my take: The Giants saved a bit of money by not having to go to arbitration next year. Timmy is guaranteed a hefty salary for the next two years, even if he ends up getting injured (God forbid), plus he will still be a free agent in two years and can take the best offer from whomever at that time. Why did he not take that 5-year deal? Why would you lock in at $20 million a year when you can get way more than that from another team (aka the Red Sox or the Yankees or even the Tigers the way they’ve been throwing money around lately) in two years in free agency? And I do believe that the lack of hitting support is getting to him because it’s making his stats look worse than others who are getting the support. Even though Mike Krukow and others in the media keep saying that they think he will stay with the team because “he likes it here,” I think money and fame talk, and he will go after all he can get. I really wish that they could have signed him to a longer-term deal.
As far as the incredible amount of money these star players can bring in, how much money do you really need? He’s going to make $18.5 million alone this year minimum. Say you lose half of that in taxes, that’s still $9 million. How much money can that boy spend? I would be set for life with $9 million. And that’s not to mention the money he’s already made and potentially will make from both playing and endorsements. I seriously hope these guys donate a lot to charity; otherwise I’m not sure how they can live with themselves. (Steps off the soapbox)
In other Timmy news, he was named #7 starter in all of baseball right now by MLB Network (Roy Halladay was named #1). I personally thought he should have been higher than that, but this is still a fantastic accomplishment. Congrats, Timmy!
Right-handed awesome reliever Sergio Romo was signed to a 1-year, $1.575 million contract this week, avoiding arbitration. That’s more than 3 times what he made last year, and he’s worth every penny. I hope he performs as stunningly this year as he did last year.
Also this week we heard the sad news that Cody Ross signed a 1-year deal with the Red Sox for $3 million. Guess he just couldn’t get more than a 1-year deal anywhere. I love the guy and will miss his smiling face, but I really don’t think he is worth this much. Adios, Cody.
Two other players were given non-guaranteed contracts with the Giants this week. That basically means if they suck during Spring Training, they won’t be on the team! Right-handed relief pitcher Clay Hensley was given a 1-year, $750K contract plus $300K in incentives. Clay has an unfortunate claim to fame in that he gave up Barry Bonds’ 755th home run (which tied him with Hank Aaron’s record). The Giants hope for him to be able to fill the shoes of Ramon Ramirez, some awfully huge shoes to fill. Good luck to you, Clay. And please stay away from those performance-enhancing drugs, kid (he tested positive in the minors in 2005) – don’t blow your shot! In addition, Ryan “The Riot” Theriot (pronounced TAIR-ee-o – my brother, Paul, informed me of his nickname – I love that!) of the Cardinals received a 1-year, non-guaranteed deal. He’ll get $1.25 million plus $750K in incentives if he makes the team. His numbers look good, but he is 32 (nearing old man status in baseball). The Giants are hoping he can become an infield utility player, just like his silent “t” partner, Mike Fontenot. He’s also going to be a new heartthrob for the girlies – he’s a cutie! Good luck to you, Ryan.
In researching all this contract stuff, every time it mentions that the contract is pending a physical. Are they doing drug testing in this physical, or is it to guarantee that the guy is physically fit enough to play baseball? And has anyone ever not passed the physical? Anyone know? My inquiring mind would like to know (maybe I’ll blog about it in the future).
From the minor leagues, MLB.com named up-and-coming Giants star Gary Brown to the Top 10 Outfield Prospect List. That’s a really nice accomplishment, son. Congrats! Looking forward to seeing you play with the big boys in a couple of years.
I can’t leave without mentioning that in support of my boys, I declared it “Giants Day” at work last Friday. I asked a couple of coworkers who are Giants fans to wear their Giants gear. Ginny and I came all decked out, but Tom forgot that it was education fund day and he had to wear that T-shirt. At least he was wearing orange (sort of – more like rust) and black. I’ll have to spread the word better next time and make sure that I’m not conflicting with a “Support Education Day.” And you all can feel free to randomly declare a “Giants Day” at your place of employment. The boys would love that! Let me know if you do and I’ll mention it in my blog.
Anyone going to KNBR Giants FanFest on February 4th? I will definitely be there, and a couple of friends might tag along if they can make it. I hear that you need to get there really early because it is a madhouse. I know that they turned people away last year, but no one is going to turn me away! The boys will be signing autographs, and I’m hoping to get at least my boy Eli Whiteside’s (I’m assuming his line won’t be too long – sorry, Honey!). I’m sure it will just be a thrill to be at AT&T Park again. Dave – are you going to be there?
It’s only a few more days until the start of Spring Training. I hope I can catch some of the games on TV. Seriously thinking about actually going next year but can’t this year due to the super awesome baseball road trip I’m taking with my siblings. I know a couple of my cousins are, so I’ll have to live vicariously through their photos on Facebook. Until next time, GO GIANTS!!