Last year, I did a blog about the Giants players’ contracts. I also made predictions about who I thought would be returning to the team for the 2012 season. I just reread that blog, and one thing became apparent: I have no business doing that! There is so much involved when it comes to who comes back and who doesn’t that lowly me with my limited (though expanding) knowledge base really shouldn’t get involved. I performed horribly. However, I did get some positive feedback on the contract section, so I’ve decided to do that again this year. I’m also doing it to appease my own curiosity.
I’ll start with a refresher course on what arbitration and free agency mean. Players with at least three but less than six years of service are eligible for arbitration. The player makes a case as to how much they should be paid, the team comes up with their own number, and then an impartial third party of arbitrators looks at the two offers and decides which is most fair. The player is then awarded a one-year, non-guaranteed contract at that salary. If a player has less than three years of service on a team, the team unilaterally decides on his salary, with a minimum salary limit (the limit was $480K in 2012 – not too shabby). A player with six or more years in the majors who is not under contract for the following season is automatically a free agent. The team can offer the free agent arbitration. If they do, the player can either accept the arbitration or sign with another team. If the team does not offer arbitration, the player is free to go to another team. At any time, a team can make a contract with a player to keep them from leaving.
Here is the current contract status for the Giants players on the 2012 40-man roster who could potentially be back next season:
Jeremy Affeldt – Jeremy just signed a contract for $18 million over 3 years. I’m so glad the management did this to keep the bullpen intact. He’s been in the majors for 11 years. Jeremy had a great season last year, including the post-season, and I look forward to watching him play in the future. Keeping my fingers crossed that we won’t have any more freak accidents next year and that he can stay off the DL!
Joaquin Arias – Joaquin is arbitration eligible. He’s been in the majors for 4 years. Last season he made $480K. He did such a great job filling in for Pablo. I really hope the team can find a place for him next season. He’s strong both offensively and defensively.
Brandon Belt – Brandon has been in the majors for 1 year. He made $481K last season. This kid really has been put through the wringer, but I’m so glad it’s finally all coming together. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins a Gold Glove next season – his defense is so strong. And he’s finally getting the bat to work. Plus, he writes a great blog! He mentioned in his last one that his dad got him a karaoke machine for Christmas, something he’s always wanted. That would be something to see – Mr. Awkward “belt”ing one out. HEEEEEEEEEEE!
Gregor Blanco – Gregor is arbitration eligible. He has been in the majors for 3 years. He made $516K last season. Gregor had a great breakout season with the Giants, but his role on the team next season will depend on whether Angel Pagan is resigned and whether the Giants try to get another outfielder who can hit. I hope he plays a big role as we need as many non-spitters on the team as we can get!
Madison Bumgarner – Madison will begin his 5 year, $35 million contract (with a 2-year club option). He will make $750K next season, and his salary will increase progressively after that. Not bad considering he’s only been in the majors for 2 years. So glad this guy is tied up for us for the next 5 years. Even with the snot rockets, I look forward to watching him pitch superbly again next season. And you have to give the kid major kudos for working out his pitching issues during the post season and coming back strong.
Matt Cain – Matt will be in the second year of his 6 year, $127.5 million contract (with a 1 year club option). He’ll make $20 million next season. He’s been in the majors for 7 years. Thank goodness this guy is also tied up for a while! Between him and Madison, we’re set! Looking forward to being able to watch that adorable daughter of his grow up (not to mention his killer pitching talent)!
Santiago Casilla – Santiago is arbitration eligible and has been in the majors for 5 years. According to Andrew Baggarly, the Giants are talking to the right-handed reliever about a multi-year contract. Glad to hear they have recognized the talent of this guy. He really did a great job filling in for Brian Wilson as closer near the beginning of the season, and continued to perform well after that.
Brandon Crawford – Brandon has been in the majors for 1 year. He made $481K last season. I would guess he’ll make significantly more next season. Love watching this guy play at short stop (and not just because he is so cute). He makes plays that seem impossible! There is definitely a Gold Glove in that future. Looking forward to more next season, and good luck with the soon-to-be little Crawford!
Connor Gillaspie – Connor has been in the majors for 2 years. He made $480K last season. I would guess if he’s on the team next season, he will continue to fill in when guys are injured.
Aubrey Huff – *Sigh* Aubrey is a free agent and has been in the majors for 12 years. He made $10 million last year. Aubrey hasn’t been able to get back to his 2010 self, and spent a lot of time on the DL last season due to anxiety and a trip over the rail running onto the field after Matt Cain’s perfect game. Such a sad story. Manny just informed me that the Giants declined his option and gave him a $2 million buyout. So no more rally thong. Just came across an article on the internet that says he is being pursued by the Diamondbacks. Maybe that will work out for him.
George Kontos – George (aka “Cutie Pie”) has been in the majors for 1 year. He made $481,350 last season (That’s what it said – don’t know why that $350 is there. Maybe he got a bit extra for being so cute.). This kid really shined in the post season. I hope he is a part of the bullpen next season.
Tim Lincecum – Tim will be in the second year of his 2 year, $40.5 million contract. He will be making $22 million next season. He’s been in the majors for 5 years. Hoping that over the off season he can figure things out and come back strong next year. Kudos to him for showing such class when he pitched in relief during the off season (and for doing such a fantastic job!).
Javier Lopez – Javi will be in the second year of his 2 year, $8.5 million contract. He will be making $4.25 million next season. He’s been in the majors for 7 years. After another stellar performance this season, I’m so glad we have another reliever tied up for next season. And the fact that he’s easy on the eyes doesn’t hurt!
Jean Machi – Jean has been in the majors for 1 year. He made $480K last season. It will be interesting to see if we see more of him next season as he was a latecomer and performed fairly well.
Jose Mijares – Jose is arbitration eligible this year. He’s been in the majors for 4 years. He made $925K last season. Though the left-handed reliever came in near the latter part of the season, he really made a strong impression. I hope he’s back next year.
Guillermo Mota – Guillermo is a free agent this year. He’s been in the majors for 13 years. I have to admit that I have not heard anything about contract negotiations with Guillermo. He made $1 million last year. I would assume that since the Giants obviously have forgiven him for the drug thing (apparently he took his daughter’s cold medicine) that they would like to have him back as he plays a key role in the bullpen.
Xavier Nady – Xavier is a free agent. He’s been in the majors for 10 years. He made $700K last season. Haven’t heard anything about his future. He was on the team for such a short time and really didn’t do that much, so I’m not sure he’ll be back.
Angel Pagan – Angel is a free agent (alas, it’s true). He’s been in the majors for 6 years. He made $4.85 million last season. I really hope that the Giants can pull this one off. He had such a great season, and he’s such a good guy. Brandon Belt mentioned in his blog that he and his wife are also fantastic at karaoke! It will all depend on how much he wants and how long of a contract, and you know he’ll want much more than what he made last year and more than 1 year. I hope the love of his fans will somehow play into it and make him want to stay!
Hunter Pence – Hunter is arbitration eligible this year. He’s been in the majors for 5 years. He made $10.4 million last season. Even though I love this new addition to the team, his performance was below expectation so we’ll have to wait and see if he comes back next year. I hope so because he seems like a great guy and he’s a great teammate (and he doesn’t spit!). At the end of the new Giants 2012 season film, a bunch of the guys on the team do their best imitation of Hunter. You can check it out here. Just one of the many reasons why I love these guys.
Brad Penny – Brad is a free agent. He’s been in the majors for 12 years. Last season he made $500K. He performed OK last season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back (plus he doesn’t cost much).
Brett Pill – Brett has been in the majors for 1 year. He made $480K last season. I’m sure being in Brandon Belt’s shadow isn’t much fun, and I would assume that since Brandon has gotten his act together, we’ll see a lot less of Brett next season. Sorry, Eleanor!
Buster Posey – Buster will start his 3rd year of the majors next year (can you believe this??), so he will definitely be a Giant next season (can I get an AMEN to that???). He was only paid $615K last season to be the MVP. What a steal!! I have heard that the Giants will try to work out a multi-year contract with Buster over the off-season, and you know it will be for significantly more than what he got last season. I’m so pleased he’ll be wearing a Giants uniform for years to come. BTW – If you didn’t hear, Buster received the Silver Slugger Award at the end of the season (besides the NL MVP). And just to give us one more example of why we love this guy, he accepted his MVP award from a charity fundraiser that he was working at with his mother. LOVE THAT GUY!!
Sergio Romo – Sergio is arbitration eligible (YAY! Still under Giants control!). He’s been in the majors for 4 years. You know the Giants are going to do everything they can to keep this guy happy. I would assume they will try to work out some type of contract with him to avoid arbitration like they did last year (he made $1.575 million last year). You can’t say enough about this guy. Not only does he have some wicked pitching stuff, he has such a great personality and sense of humor. What would we do without the photo bombs? Looking forward to more antics next season.
Dan Runzler – Dan is arbitration eligible. He made $483K last season. We’ll have to see if he will have a place in the bullpen next season, or if he will just fill in for guys on the DL like he did this season (or if he’ll even be on the team at all).
Freddy Sanchez – Freddy is a free agent this year. He’s been in the majors for 10 years. He made $6 million last year, even though he didn’t play in a single game. I haven’t heard anything at all about Freddy lately, and I’m assuming that means he won’t be a part of the team next season. Not even sure if he is ready to come back and play yet. I do love the guy’s spirit, though, and he did try his best to get back to playing. Hope everything works out for him.
Hector Sanchez – Hector has been in the majors for 1 year. He made $480K last season for being Buster’s backup catcher. What a fine job this kid did last season. Even though I shouldn’t make predictions, I would assume he’ll be back next season backing up Buster again, with an even higher batting average. We’re so lucky to have so much talent coming from the farm system.
Pablo Sandoval – Pablo is arbitration eligible and has been in the majors for 4 years. He will be in the second year of his 3 year, $17.15 million contract. He will make $5.7 million next season. Hope he can stay on track, not get into trouble, and not gain weight in the off season and during next season. He has so much potential. Want to be able to wear my panda hat for a long time to come!
Marco Scutaro – Marco (SCUTARO!) is a free agent (AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!). He has been in the majors for 10 years. Last season he made $6 million. Please, oh please, get this guy back! I think I want him back even more so than Angel (sorry, Angel!). His arrival on the team turned them around. What a fantastic season he had. And I’ll miss doing the chants if he doesn’t! We’ll have to wait and see (with everything crossed on this one!).
Eric Surkamp – Eric has been in the majors for 1 year. He made $480K last season. We didn’t see a whole lot of him this season, and I would assume we won’t next season, either.
Ryan Theriot –Ryan is a free agent. He’s been in the majors for 7 years. Last season he made $1.25 million. He did a really great job last season and then was overshadowed by Marco. But he still came back and did well in the post season. I hope he comes back, but not sure there will be a place for him. Congratulations on winning back to back World Series, Sir! We missed you at the parade!
Ryan Vogelsong – Ryan (aka “The Bull”) will be in the second year of his 2 year, $8.3 million contract (with a 1 year club option). He will make $5 million next season, and a well deserved $5 million that will be considering his superb performance last season. He had the lowest ERA on the team (and in the NL) for a large part of the season. He’s been in the majors for 6 years. So happy that this key piece to the starting pitching puzzle will be returning next season. And I hope he continues chewing that gum because it makes him spit a lot less!
Eli Whiteside – I know, I know! He’s a Yankee now! I just felt bad leaving him off the list…
Brian Wilson – Things get a little tricky here. Brian made $8.5 million last season, even though he only played in 2 games due to his second Tommy John surgery. He’s been in the majors for 6 years. For the Giants to keep him and avoid his free agency, they would have had to offer him at least $6.8 million for next season, something they weren’t willing to do due to the uncertainty of his post-surgery abilities. The deadline for this to happen was last night at 9 pm, and the deadline has passed with no contract. So now Brian Wilson is a free agent (say it isn’t so!!). Now the Giants have the ability to resign him for a lower price, and their view is to pay him less up front but include lots of incentives should he have another great year. But according to Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle, multiple sources have said that Brian is upset about the Giants stance and he is looking to sign elsewhere. He feels that he should have gotten the higher contract because he basically sacrificed his arm for them to win the World Series in 2010. I love the guy and all, but I think he needs to realize that they won it WITHOUT HIM in 2012. It will be interesting to see what happens with this one. Can you imagine him in a Dodgers uniform next season?? The way those guys are throwing their money around, it isn’t inconceivable. Plus I’ve heard that he lives down there in the off season anyway. *SHUDDER*
Barry Zito – Barry will be in the final year of his 7 year, $126 million contract (with a 1 year club option). He will make $20 million next season. He’s been in the majors for 12 years. So Barry will definitely be a starting pitcher next season, and everyone can finally revel in this instead of whining about how much money he will be making. What a fantastic job he did last season. The interesting thing in his case will be whether he returns in 2014. If he has another season like last season, the Giants will have a tough decision there. I for one love the guy and hope he can repeat. One funny thing – I noticed in his contract that as a perk he gets a suite on road trips. That doesn’t seem to fit his personality. What’s up with that???
So there you go. I’ll keep you updated if I hear of any signings or resignings. Really missing my boys. Counting the days until FanFest already! GO GIANTS!