Final count of Giants on the World Baseball Classic roster – 9. Here’s the list: USA – Ryan Vogelsong and Jeremy Affeldt; Venezuela – Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro (Pablo’s encouragement worked!), and Jose Mijares; Mexico – Sergio Romo; Puerto Rico – Angel Pagan and Javier Lopez; Dominican Republic – Santiago Casilla. Congratulations to all for being selected to represent your respective countries. What a tremendously talent-laden group they are! I’m so proud of you. But again, please don’t get hurt! Vinnie is going to see one of these games at AT&T Park. It’d be fun to go, but tickets are a little too pricey for me. Besides, I need to save up my pennies so I can watch my boys play during the regular season!
Four of the arbitration-eligible Giants have been signed to 1-year contracts today (thanks for the info, Amy G. !). Hunter Pence received $13.8 million, Buster Posey received $8 million, Jose Mijares received $1.8 million, and Gregor Blanco received $1.35 million. Isn’t the Buster offer a sweet deal (even though he’s making over 10 times what he made last year)? Can you imagine what it would be like to get that first paycheck when your salary has increased that much? But you know that number will be skyrocketing once he becomes a free agent, and look forward to the Giants trying to sign him to a longer contract in the near future to possibly buy up some of his free agent years. No worries there, though – he’ll be a Giant if we want him through 2016. Whew! The one number that I was surprised about on the list was Hunter’s. Last year, he made $10.4 million. That’s a 33% increase in salary for the mediocre performance of last season. Now I love the guy, and I believe he was key in motivating the guys during the post season, but a 33% raise?? I stumbled upon a website that calculates each player’s percent of team payroll vs. percent of team performance. Here’s what they came up with for Hunter. They conclude that the Giants overpaid for him last year. Hope he bounces back and earns his salary this year. My prediction is he will, now that he’s been with the team for a while and is settled in. Here’s what the same site came up with for Buster Posey. Conclusion: “Buster Posey is a total stud.” LMBO! Would have to agree with them on that one! Still waiting to hear what deals Joaquin Arias and Sergio Romo are dealt. Will let you know when I find out.
The latest news on Brian Wilson is that the Mets were not impressed with his workout at UCLA and are waiting to see how he performs during Spring Training. There are still several other teams who are interested in the Giants closer. In related news, even though the Giants haven’t given up on resigning Wilson, they are in serious discussions with right-handed reliever Brandon Lyon of the Toronto Blue Jays. In 30 appearances with the Blue Jays, Lyon struck out 28 batters in 25 innings while posting a 2.88 ERA. Though he only pitched half the season with Toronto, his rate of 10.1 strikeouts per inning is pretty darn impressive (though Sergio Romo and Jose Mijares had even better rates than that – 10.2!). He would definitely make a great addition to the bull pen, and if he came in as closer they wouldn’t have to do the “closer by committee” thing anymore, which I’m sure would be a “relief” to most of the relievers (Hee, Hee). Plus I am actually getting kind of tired of all the Wilson drama at this point.
Finally, poor Eli is on the move again. He wasn’t picked up by another team this time, but he has cleared waivers and was designated for assignment to the Rangers Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express. At least he will still be in Texas and closer to his home in Mississippi. And at least he is still guaranteed to make at least $200,000 this season. And at least he is still appearing in those 12 Days of Orange October episodes. Think I’ll have to send him a support letter in Texas.
Countdown to FanFest is at 22 days. Ginny and I have decided to get there at 6 am (even though doors don’t open until 10 am) and just enjoy the view and the company of fellow Giants fans. So glad she’s as insane about our boys as I am! Leslie – are you and Morganlee going?? Can’t wait! GO GIANTS!!