November 2012

#SFGiants Non-Tender Brian Wilson, Becomes a Free Agent

The deadline was 9:00PM PST, and by that time the Giants had made a decision after efforts to come to an agreement with the one with the beard, but the parties were unable to come to an agreement, and Brian Wilson is now a Free Agent. In a culture that regrettably loves the save stat, Brian Wilson gathered himself 171 of those during his Giants tenure, and had a pair of fantastic 2009 and 2010 campaigns (double digit K/9, 2.50 and lower FIP), while having a decent 2011 season where he admittedly was a little fatigued from the historic 2010 run.

There was news that since Wilson lives in Los Angeles that he would consider the Dodgers first on his off-season list of teams to talk to. You could argue it may have been a “leverage leak” as Hank Schulman suggested, but then again we’ll see how it all plays out. Maybe he does stay in the NL West. Or maybe another team snatches him up and gives him more guaranteed cash, which is what Wilson and his camp were looking for, as opposed to the largely incentive-based contract that was offered by the Giants.

Although Sabean says they’re not active in trades right now, the Winter Meetings in Nashville start next week and the Giants may find an arm they deem good enough to replace their former 9th inning guy. Hard to say there’s someone waiting in the wings at the farm to replace Wilson. Heath Hembree was supposed to be the heir to the throne, but he’s slowed a bit due to injury and is still working on his control (insert closing pitcher joke there). The GM will probably do his usual Spring Training-invite, seemingly minor-trade-type of move to shore up the bullpen… or he could stand pat with guys like Jean Machi, Yusmeiro Petit, or use players he’s added to the 40-man in Jake Dunning, or Chris Heston. Some even can’t wait to see the likes of Brett Bochy possibly take the bump for father Bruce.

Lots of off-season left to go, but this is probably the end of Brian Wilson’s run — and his out of control facial hair — with the team that groomed him to become the now free agent reliever.

Conference Call: After Noon #SFGiants Update on Non-Tender Day

While we wait on decisions to Brian Wilson and Santiago Casilla (but more the Bearded One), the beat writers had a conference call with General Manager Brian Sabean. I’ll let the beat writers’ tweets do the talking:

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Possible that Wilson stays, but if he sees bigger money elsewhere, you can’t blame him for bolting.

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Good news for anyone wanting to put the team back together with Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan.

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They’re not active in trades right now. Doesn’t mean they won’t be when all them GMs meet up in Nashville.

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This is of course wonderful news for anyone that is a fan of Buster Posey in a Giants uniform. Not necessarily sad news for Hunter Pence fans, just means they’ll take a look at him in 2013, and if he excels, you know the Giants will try to hold on to him.

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Going into a contract year will do that for anybody, even the $22.25MM in 2013 Tim Lincecum.

All this is probably the major news of the day for the Giants since they will be working to figure out what to do with BWeezy and perhaps a deal can be made. If not, expect some short articles after 9PM on The Beard going Bye Bye Baby.

Happy Non-Tender Day so Let’s Trade People

Today could be a day of many trades, and Atlanta and the Angels of Anaheim have kicked off the day with some names you’ve heard of: Atlanta sending Tommy Hanson out for Jordan Walden. Here’s why Atlanta may be saying that they were ready to part ways while he had value:

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This is his average velocity through the years on his fastball. Notice how in 2009 it’s in the 90’s , and in 2010 it’s also there, and 2011 OK it’s still there but the velocity range is down and then in 2012 you’re like dude, not even touching 95 anymore? What did you get older? No, but really, it’s not like Hanson has been consistently good: like his decline in fastball velocity, he’s seen a rise in BB/9 and FIP, which is not a good thing at all. Here’s what they got in Jordan Walden (who still doesn’t hit arbitration until 2014):

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That’s in three seasons (’10-’12), the first one in 2010 not even being a full season in the bigs. His velocity looks like this:

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It’s not the triple digit heat you might remember him for anymore, but mid-90’s is nothing to scoff at. The Braves add another power arm to their already powerful bullpen. If Hanson (going into his first of three arbitration years) regains his form, this will be a great trade for the Angels, but as it is on paper, I deem the Braves the winner of this early morning trade.

Longo Goes Long-Term with Rays in Newest Contract Extension

Not every day you wake up to find out that a guy that went to the same undergrad institution you did signed a 6-year/$100MM contract extension, and that’s what Evan Longoria and the Rays have agreed to, per multiple internet sources. Here’s the quick twitter story on this extension:   The current details of his contract look like this, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts: So already with one team-friendly deal currently being worked, he signs another, and maybe him getting injured this year and playing only 74 games in 2012 was the best thing that could happen for the Rays affording Evan Longoria for the long term. In 2017 when Longo’s next contract begins, he will be entering his age-31 season, so it is very possible that he will end up being a Ray for life when all is said and done. This is an extremely team-friendly deal, and if you’re wondering why, consider the numbers for Evan Longoria among all MLB players from the 2008-2012 seasons: 20th in HR (130), 17th in SLG (.516), 24th in wOBA (.373), 15th in wRC+ (136), and has accumulated the 3rd highest fWAR (29.3). While he may not be putting up chart-toppers overall, those same numbers amongst 3B have him ranked 3rd, 2nd, 5th, T-2nd, and 1st, so the numbers tell you if Longoria wanted to wait, it is possible that he could have received more money. It would be unfair to bring up the counterpoint though that Tim Lincecum was offered a $20MM AAV package for five years and turned that money down, and maybe Evan decided that turning down $100MM wasn’t in his best interests.

Long Beach State now has three former-Dirtbag and current-MLB players signed to relatively long-term and rich deals in Troy Tulowitzki, Jered Weaver, and now Evan Longoria. Danny Espinosa should be the next former-LBSU guy on the list to get a long-term deal.

Report: Dodgers TV Deal May Involve Money

Yesterday, Deadline.com’s Nikki Finke released an article bringing forth a story noting how the Los Angeles Dodgers may be on the verge of a huge contract with FOX, who just recently purchased a 49% share of the YES Network that you may know is affiliated with the New York Yankees. Should this get finalized before the rumored last day of discussions, the Dodgers stand to cash in on $240-$280MM/year, as noted by Bill Shaikin of the LA Times and he also points out that this could be the creation of a channel with the Yankees and the Dodgers as focal points. We can worry about that channel later, but the bolded numbers really should tell you something about the way the market is shifting nowadays. Take a look at the deal the Angels broke after they had what some people thought would be the Winter that would get them to be the AL West favorites, and even the other SoCal team some people forget about in the San Diego Padres even got to cash in on the action a little bit. One team that’s not cashing in though, is the chop-oriented Atlanta Braves, and there’s also this:

For thoughts on the deal from Mike Petriello, I direct you here.

My thoughts are that until the Giants get to be in on this high money action, I’m just going to have my hands on my chin just watching the Dodgers throw around cash like it’s nothing. Now, I wouldn’t think the LAD will throw around the $240-$280MM/year they’d get every year, essentially just ignoring the luxury tax, because I would imagine that’s bad business and even the well-liked Magic Johnson had to put himself in this position because he knew he’d make some money out of it. But I also don’t know how much the Dodgers make based off of ticket sales, memorabilia, etc., so maybe they will. If someone is really setting a deadline here and the deal doesn’t get done, I don’t know who’d come in and match the money that FOX is reportedly offering, but whoever ends up signing the Dodgers in the end is going to make that organization a heckuvalot richer. To close it out with a couple rays of sunshine: for every Adrian Gonzalez they may pull in, they will also gather a Juan Uribe. I will also remind you that in the 21st Century, the Yankees haven’t exactly been winning the World Series every year even though they’ve had the highest payroll in the game, and topping $200MM in half of those years. Still got to get through those playoffs.

Oh, This train.

The Hunter Pence Impersonation Video

Hunter Pence may have had the most important speech in 21st Century Giants history. Here to deliver it are Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito, Marco Scutaro, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, and the always serious Jeremy Affeldt:

Started tearing up I was laughing so much. I’ve found teams are always more special when they win the whole thing.

#SFGiants Set 40-Man Roster

The deadline was Midnight EST or 9:00PM PST,  but the Giants have announced their roster additions and those details are starting to pour out. At the beginning of the day, the Giants had thirty guys on their forty-man roster (thirty-one if you include Angel Villalona)

**Material struck out was a repeated report sent out by the Giants

What this all means is that the Giants have thirty-five men on their forty-man roster, so they have some space to play with going into free agency and Spring Training. In case you were wondering, young guys like Gary Brown are still protected against the Rule 5 Draft so there’s no chance he gets scooped up by another team at the Winter Meetings.

First Half 2013 #SFGiants Promotions and Giveaways Announced

While the deadline for setting the 40-man roster is due by Midnight EST tonight, the Giants have given the fanbase something else to get all excited over: the April to June 2013 promotions schedule, which is linked right here. In case you don’t want to click it because you have a strong love for this site, I’ll write it down for you, along with my thoughts on some of these items:

Saturday, April 6th: Buster Posey Bobblehead

  • There may be so many trophies on this bobblehead, will we actually be able to see Buster Posey?

Sunday, April 7th: World Series Ring Ceremony and Replica

Tuesday, April 9th: World Series Champions Parade Snow Globe, World Series Ring Ceremony and Replica

  • Should be a big deal due to the word “snow,” but they missed a chance to call it the “J.T. Snow Globe”

Friday, April 19th: Fireworks Night

Saturday, April 20th: World Champions Umbrella

  • Was hoping for a World Champions poncho, but this will do

Sunday, April 21st: World Champions Banner

  • Annoy your non-Giants friends with your second banner, perfect for dorms, balconies

Sunday, May 5th: Sergio Romo Gnome

  • Have beard? Have gnome!

Sunday, May 12th: World Champions Charm Necklace

  • My Dodger-fan wife will love this for our anniversary gift!

Saturday, May 25th: World Champions Cap

Sunday, May 26th: Barry Zito Bobblehead

  • If he’s not riding a unicorn, there will be so much disappoint

Saturday, June 22nd: Ryan Vogelsong Bobblehead

  • The question will be how many enchiladas will be on this bobblehead, or if his wife will also be on the memorbilia as well

Sunday, June 23rd: World Champions Beach Towel

  • I still wish I had that “BEAT LA” beach towel

Also, six-game ticket plans are coming out on Friday at 10:00AM PST!

A Bu$ter Po$ey Po$t

Pre-MVP Buster Posey at Florida State

So often it is that when one person begins to discuss something, others follow. Chris Quick of Bay City Ball wrote up a piece on paying Buster Posey and it’s a good read, so you should check it out if you haven’t already. Can I do a better job of predicting a Posey contract? Probably not, but predicting long-term contracts are a fun off-season past time, like rosterbation. It should be noted though, that just as much as we might want Posey to get a contract to buy out his arbitration years, we could be seeing something of a repeat of a Tim Lincecum situation where his first two arbitration years get bought out (at that time for a 2 year/$23MM deal), and then another two year deal is made later. Now that I put that to paper, I actually believe that if it’s all coming down to the player getting paid, unless the Giants bring up some outstanding money, this is what will happen. Just in case you weren’t sure, these are the projected arbitration numbers for the Giants and their players, and much like Jim Bowden and his FA predictions, MLBTR is known to be pretty close to their projected figures:

$5.9MM in year one of arbitration, so you can definitely put down the pipe dream of getting a Salvador Perez” href=”http://www.royalsreview.com/2012/2/28/2829816/salvador-perez-contract-breakdown” target=”_blank”>Salvador Perez-type deal, because if they wanted that, they should’ve tried for it the moment Posey came up. Gosh, that’s a beautiful contract. Looks like the type I would sign my “A-potential” prospects to in MLB the Show 12, except it’d be for 10 years and less than $10MM, assuming they’re age 22 or younger. Anyway, you’re not getting Posey for cheap, and even if he switches to 1B, he’s still going to cost eight figures through his age 34 season at the very least.

There are two catchers in the 21st century who have put up an fWAR (Fangraphs version) and an rWAR (Baseball-Reference’s version) over 7.0 in a season. They are Buster Posey and Head and Shoulders’ Joe Mauer. Joe’s contract (seriously, what’s with the cover picture) is paying him $23MM/year over 8 seasons, so what makes you think Posey won’t want/get more? Compare the accolades on Baseball Reference all you want, two World Series rings in three seasons, with both of those rings coming in healthy Buster Posey seasons only makes his agents salivate at the thought of the green the kid from Leesburg, GA will make them.

If you want to discuss the Fangraphs value stuff, Posey was valued at $36MM this year. Mauer was valued at $35.6MM before he signed the Michael Jordan deal. Figure that front offices have their own stats to value metrics, and I have no idea how close they are to Fangraphs, but I will bet that they both said that Mauer and Posey had awesome seasons in 2009, and 2012, respectively. With everything in mind now, it’s time for predictions. I’m going to make them for every scenario I think could happen (each scenario assumes they don’t go to arbitration hearings): 1) the one-year deal, 2) the two-year deal, 3) the buying-out-of-arbitration-four-year deal, 4) the get a FA year for free* four-year deal with option

1) The one-year deal: Giants sign Buster Posey for $6.4MM. Why: The Giants signed Buster Posey for $6.2MM out of the draft, with two extra $100K in there for the two WS rings he’s had while on the team. I’d think that I’m stupid for playing with numbers, but seeing the way they played with the numbers a little with Timmy, I think it’s possible.

2) The two-year deal: $20MM, paying him $7MM in 2013, $13MM in 2014. Why: pay him a little more than he’s asking for in ’13, give him his due raise in ’14. If he’s healthy, you’re still likely getting your money’s worth.

3) The buy-out-four-year deal: $55MM, the payout being something like $6.5MM in ’13, $12MM in ’14, $16.5MM in ’15, $20MM in ’16. You’re giving him a higher AAV than Mauer, and I understand not higher than Lincecum, but he would approach that territory in option two after his first two-year deal. This deal may be on the optimistic side.

4) The get a FA year for free* deal: $80MM, the same deal as the four-year, with the vesting option being for $25MM. Why: With money flowing in to the organizations as they are, this money is the type you will see handed out to the superstars of the game, unless you’re Mike Trout, then you’ll probably get $30MM.

Those are the four ways I could see it being played out, and if anything, I bet on option number two happening. There’s just so much money to be had for Posey, I’m not sure why he’d go for options 3 or 4, but then again we saw with Lincecum that leaving money on the table might not always be the best idea.

*-$25MM

Today’s Reading from @cistulli and @mccoveychron

This could be the two most important things you read in some time, and you don’t have to pay to read either of them.

First, Carson Cistulli grades the Mitch Albom piece that could be an embodiment of every advanced metric-hater.

Second and finally, Grant Brisbee kills it in his quick analysis of the piece and talking about the Cabrera-Trout argument you might have heard about.

Great, great pieces. I’m not saying you have to read them because you don’t like being told what to do, but all the cool kids are doing it.

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