A little over an hour ago we got the news, and I’m sure that Brett Pill couldn’t be happier:
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 13, 2013
Pill gets the call up, and Francisco Peguero gets sent down, which makes everybody wonder less about who might be the DH as the Giants head to an American League park for a two-game series. This season, Pill was 6th in wOBA in the Pacific Coast League with the Fresno Grizzlies at .445 with a tied for league leading 9 HR.
For those that are getting super excited about those stats, I do want you to stay calm as other wOBA leaders for the PCL include Scott Van Slyke, Brian Bogusevic, and Kila Ka’aihue. This is not to say Pill will be a huge fail for the Giants, but that your expectations of his performance shouldn’t be as league leading as they were in AAA.
Posey would never be so arrogant to another baseball player like that, but no one’s surprised the Tigers kept Verlander, although maybe the money was a bit high. Gerald Dempsey Posey III, entering his Age 26 season, will be a Giant for the foreseeable future (through 2021 at the very least, a club option for 2022). You might be wondering to yourself like I was how often the Giants win with Buster Posey in the lineup, well thanks to baseball reference, I can tell you that they win more often than not when Posey starts games. A graph:
Let’s say you won 58% of the games you started in 140 games, that’s still 81 wins with twenty-two games left to go. The fact that Posey has been an integral part of a winning club should not be lost on anybody. Has he had some good fortune that he’s had the chance to work with guys like Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Ryan Vogelsong when they’ve got their stuff in check for the most part? Absolutely. Bengie Molina had to work with less, although still had a pretty awesome Timmy, Cainer, and MadBum was just making his presence known. Here’s a totally unfair graph of how the Giants did in Molina starts:
Even in 2010 when Posey came up, Molina saw half the games he started in being won, but 59% of Posey’s netting the Giants a W, and ultimately, Buster would be a part of a drought-ending team for the Giants.
In between 2010 and 2012, Buster has amassed 301 games at the catcher position, which is tied for 19th most in that timespan, yet he still has had the time to put up some pretty nice/interesting numbers. Among MLB Catchers:
HR: 6th (46)
BABIP: 2nd (.342) to Joe Mauer
AVG: T-1st (.317) with Victor Martinez
OBP: 3rd (.384) behind Mauer, and Carlos Ruiz
wOBA: 1st (.383)
wRC+: 1st (145)
fWAR: t-1st (13.2) with Yadier Molina
Consider that every player listed here and along with the HR peoples have played at least 60 more games at the C position than Posey with the exception of Martinez (272 G).
Other Notable Catcher Contracts
- Mauer with the Twins makes $23MM a year in a 2011-2018 deal.
- Molina has a 5 year/$74MM guaranteed deal that beings this year, with a $15MM option for 2018
- Miguel Montero ha a 5 year/$60MM deal that begins this year
- Brian McCann is making $12MM this year and will be a free agent in after this season unless the Braves sign him to an extension
I’d say most of these catchers are pretty important to their franchises, especially the top two, but I’m sure Buster Posey’s camp started talking about Mauer numbers from the get-go before Yadier’s name was brought up in conversation. Words such as “Two in Three,” ”MVP,” “Rookie of the Year,” “Face of the Franchise,” were probably all used in conversations between the two sides.
Well, now we definitely have money to keep track of beyond 2019. Madison Bumgarner has options that can take his contract out that far, with guaranteed money that he’s owed in those later years, Matt Cain’s contract “only” goes out through 2018. Here’s what my Excel spreadsheet said about the payroll before the signing:
2013 — $138.33MM
2014 — $67.55MM
2015 — $55.5MM
2016 — $42.83MM
2017 — $32.33MM
2018 — $32.83MM
2019 — $12MM
If you’re going to fill up the payroll though, wouldn’t you do it on Buster Posey (if anybody) too? Of course you should. Here’s the payout:
Signing bonus $7 million, $3M in 2013, $10.5M in 2014, $16.5M in 2015, $20M in 2016, $21.4M in 2017-2021. option 2022 22M with $3M buyout.
My opinion on the contract
A nine-year contract, eight-year extension worth $167 million all told, if you want the whole thing averaged out, it’s $18.5MM/year. If you just want the extension, it’s $19.875MM. The option year has reported to be worth $21.4MM-$22MM, which would push the contract up to $188.4MM over the course of ten years. $7MM signing bonus (ka-ching!), and a $3MM buyout in that option year if things go all Barry Zito. Posey gets a full no-trade clause, and that shouldn’t be anything the fans or front office worries about for a while anyway. I Love this contract with a capital “L,” and think Brian Sabean and his team did a great job locking up their catcher (would have liked six years, but many fans thought this would be a ten-twelve year deal in the end). Assuming good health, Buster can probably make good on the value of this possible ten-year deal in seven years through $5MM per one fWAR. However, he may make it up sooner after he wins the Giants four straight World Series titles *winky face*
It is a wonder whether the Giants will be keeping Posey at catcher throughout the life of his contract, especially as long as Joe Torre stalls to not implement any new catcher safety rules. Regardless of all that, Buster Posey will be a Giant throughout the prime of his career, and that should make Giants fans very happy to have both a leader, and a bat in their lineup for years to come.
Luckily, Posey has given us an exclusive look at that in this commercial:
Time to get to work.
With Spring Training happening now, prospect lists are coming out, from Baseball America and MLB most notably, fans start to compare farm systems and search within themselves how much that farm system matters to how they feel about their team. If you’re the Cardinals, you take pride in knowing the club you have at the major league level is of very good quality, and your farm provides plenty of promise. If you’re the Padres, you hold out hope for the future, because your farm has been good for some time while fans in San Diego have been left with a 2010 rush but not much else recently. If you’re a fan of the Giants, you’ve been given proof in postseasons and parades that the team at the major league level is worthy of being taken seriously, while the system may not be as top-heavy as it has been in the past, so you wonder how long the current MLB club can hold on until you will need reinforcements from the farm, not just on journeymen AAAA players.
While many of the Top 10 prospects of national lists have an estimated time of arrival in 2013, the MLB should expect to see plenty of new, highly-touted arms and bats before the end of the season, we’re not sure who from the Top 10 lists (or really any list) of San Francisco Giants minor leaguers that haven’t had their shot will crack the 2013 rosters AND be a useful piece.
Sure, Francisco Peguero could be useful here and there if one of the corner outfielders find the disabled list, but I haven’t seen a recent report that suggests he has the profile for an everyday spot. Gary Brown, the former number one prospect of the Giants could be that guy, especially with his strong second half he put up in Double-A Richmond. Roger Kieschnick‘s name got whispered last year by some fans, and he’s on the 40-man.
Conor Gillaspie has 48 PA across three different seasons, and you just hope he’ll be a good backup when the time comes, and you hope the same for the featured Fanfest kid Nick Noonan. All we’ve heard about Kensuke Tanaka is from Marty and his “Japanese feet.” Brock Bond has a cool name. That’s pretty much it when it comes to Giants prospects and who makes their living on the dirt.
The big names are all years away, although Chris Heston could be of use if one of the five go down. If he’s no good, then the Giants will probably draw from the AAA well, none of the others being prospects, mmmmaybe before checking in on Michael Kickham. Eric Surkamp is the wild card in all this, who says he’ll start resuming activities in July. Keep all this in mind as you consider whose contracts and service time with the Champs could be coming to a close after 2013.
If there’s anything we’ve seen with Sabean in the last few years, it’s that he’s got this, and this year he may not have to even trade any fringe major leaguers to shore up the ‘pen. Prospect Heath Hembree, still thought by Jonathan Mayo to be a potential closer, could start the year in Fresno and then force the issue after the first month of the season if someone in the bullpen goes down or gets consistently lit up. Perhaps Bochy sees that the front office calls up son Bret Bochy. Jason Martinez of MLBDepthCharts (who also wrote a “window of opportunity” article for ESPN that you should read) also has minor leaguers Jake Dunning and Fabio Castillo as other names to watch that haven’t had a taste of the Major League coffee yet.
Whose Swan Song Might 2013 Be
The Giants have about $70MM of their nearly $140MM budget committed to their rotation this year, but this could be the last year San Francisco pays to have two guys in Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito on their roster. Unless Ryan Vogelsong magically disappears this year, his $6.5MM option will be picked up, and the Giants will still be left wondering who to fill in to the 4th and 5th spots of the rotation with Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner still leading a formidable 1-2 punch out of the gates. Do they commit the money that comes off the books to pitching? Posey? (<–the right answer. your argument is invalid.) Other offense?
The Giants got Hunter Pence for his bat, but his price tag is also very high, but one wonders how much it goes down if he continues what he did as a Giant in the regular season in 2013. If it doesn’t, though, do the Giants put out? Andres Torres, Javier Lopez, and Jose Mijares might also be tipping their caps to SF when the last game ends.
The Future is, and has been, now
Since the Giants have had a stable of young arms (plus Zito), people wondered what would happen if a team drew San Francisco in a best-of-series. 2010 was pretty much what some thought could happen, even if it did with a group of misfits. 2012 was a different set of happenings because the Giants went from three guys they could rely on with Jonathan Sanchez either walking everyone or finding his release point in ’10 to now in three guys and omg what about Lincecum and Zito? Still though, if you have a good to great rotation, and a strong top three for the playoffs, life might not be so bad for you (part of the reason why teams like the Nationals and Tigers should scare you). After this year, the questions arise: Who will be that #4? #5? Who will pick up the offense for an aging Marco Scutaro? (I’m pretty certain he isn’t going to be hitting what he did from acquisition & playoffs throughout his contract time.) Can Gary Brown be an answer?
This doesn’t mean that this is the very last year the Giants will compete in forever, but I believe if Lincecum is let go (which could be the right move in the long-term), and another offensive piece is not found/brought on, 2014 will be a difficult year with some of the top prospects starting to knock on the door for 2015. Therefore, if any big injuries happen to the rotation, or to the offense in 2013, Giants fans could find themselves grumbling for a couple of years before they can realistically start dreaming of parades again. Hopefully, health will be on their side, and everyone’s side, for that matter.
The job-less life leaves me to do whatever I want, when I want. Naturally, I’ve set up a routine to do the things I want to do, when I want to do them. I’m in a phase now where I exercise at the same time cable television decides to air their Japanese TV dramas, because where else am I going to get my language practice these days (put your hand down, internet). So today, after my usual set of things, I assume nothing happened in baseball, and especially nothing with the Giants when all of a sudden:
Ramon ramirez agrees to deal w/ SFGiants
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 5, 2013
Of course he did. Re-live the old glory, maybe he’ll get a 2012 WS ring for being a part of the Pagan trade. Speaking of…
— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) February 5, 2013
Ha! Take THAT Sandy Alderson. Now the Giants have Angel Pagan for 4/40, Andres Torres for a year and $2MM, and now a non-major league deal for Ramon Ramirez, what do you got to sa–you know what, let’s move on. I don’t need you mentioning anything else from here about what you hav–
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) February 5, 2013
ISAIDSTOP! Always with the Wheeler wheminders.
Nineteen pitchers and twenty-three offensive guys threw pitches or had at bats for the Giants in 2010, so with the gang “all back together,” you might be wondering how many 2010 guys are still sporting some black and orange. Assuming we answer that using Jason Martinez’s projected 25-man roster for the 2013 Gigantes, the answer is twelve. Twelve out of the forty-two 2010 players are still there for a whopping 28.6%, with nine of them coming from the pitching side of things. Can’t remember which starter from 2010 still isn’t there anymore? Shame on you:
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) February 5, 2013
So, while there may be a sizable minority in terms of bodies (I didn’t calculate in terms of games played or innings pitched), I guess as long as there are guys like Buster Posey, Matt Cain, and Pablo Sandoval around, there will always be a little 2010 in the SFG, no matter the year. In the February 2013 squad though, you should definitely be seeing more 2012 than 2010, and that’s not the worst thing in the world.
For those that have been off social media or the San Francisco Giants home website, the Giants, along with a slew of other teams, have avoided salary arbitration with some of their players, all of them one-year deals announced today, for SF at least. Every year, fans go through a period of confusion as to what all this salary arbitration means. Plenty assume that avoiding salary arbitration means that a team has kept a player from signing with another team. However, avoiding salary arbitration is not the same thing as free agency. For more extensive reading on it, I’ll direct you here. If you follow Henry Schulman on Twitter, you’ve seen he’s been pretty good about being civil in educating them on the process. What you need to know is this: the players listed are due raises from what their 2012 salary was, and guys with names like Pence and Posey are probably going to see bigger raises than Mijares and Blanco, in terms of the dollars. Also consider that since Pence has been around longer as a bigger name, his salary will be more substantial. To put it in Hank’s words, with my own added emphasis: “Player$ love thi$ proce$$.” I’ll list the players, their service time, their 2012 salary, then their 2013 salary for you.
Hunter Pence — 5.156 years, $10.4MM in ’12, $13.8MM in ’13
Buster Posey — 2.161 years, $615K in ’12, $8MM in ’13
Jose Mijares — 4.024 years, $925K in ’12, $1.8MM in ’13
Gregor Blanco — 2.164 years, $516K in ’12, $1.35MM in ’13
The remaining Giants left to deal with are:
Sergio Romo — 4.097 years, $1.575MM ’12
Update: Romo and the Giants have exchanged numbers for the other side to look at. Romo’s side has filed $4.5MM, and the Giants have filed $2.675MM.
Joaquin Arias — 3.071, ?? in ’12
This has predictably opened up a conversation about a long-term contract with Buster Posey, and there are plenty of options: year-to-year, buy out the rest of his arbitration years (through 2016), super long-term deal that buys out some of his free agent years at a high price. The Giants and Posey’s camp have expressed interest in a long-term deal, but it remains to be seen if something gets done.
As this Alden Gonzalez article mentions, the Giants and Romo+Arias have until February to get something worked out, and both sides would really rather not go to arbitration court since some not nice things can be said and feelings could get hurt. Sometimes, sides can agree on something at the last minute, like when the Giants and Tim Lincecum did right before a hearing once upon a time.
My numbers might be different than other people’s, but I have the Giants 2013 payroll commitments at $133,149,999.66 between 17 players, 16 of them active for the Giants (Huff being the odd man out). Larry Baer has said they’re looking to be closer to $140MM, and they’re on track for that.
Just as the title says, the Giants have locked down Santiago Casilla (formerly Jairo Garcia) for three years, two of those years being his first two years of free agency, pending a physical. There is a vesting fourth year option. After two years of sub-2 ERA and sub-3.20 FIP, Casilla regressed to a 2.84/4.14 ERA/FIP line in 2012. Casilla has been an option in the societally important closer role, especially in 2012 when Brian Wilson went down. Would not be surprised if the Giants want a back-up option to Sergio Romo‘s potential for injury and want someone they can continue to use in high leverage situations.
Meanwhile, this is the greatest article on Santiago Casilla ever from McCovey Chronicles.
Henry Schulman was hearing, and Ken Rosenthal is reporting the deal is for $15MM, and there is a vesting option on the fourth year. If Casilla reaches certain thresholds, the option will be activated, but if he doesn’t, the fourth year becomes a club option. The salary by year:
2016: $1MM buyout
As of right now, I have the Giants payroll for 2013 at $108,199,999.66.
Bruce Bochy hinted that if anything were to get done with NLCS MVP, it would be tonight, and Ken Rosenthal is reporting from a source that it has happened: for three years and twenty million dollars, the Giants have retained the now 37 year old Venezuelan to be their 2B for the next three years.
Much discussion on social media from others as well as myself suggested that the Giants would willing to go for that third year because of the in-house options they had down in the minors and what they saw in the free agent market to come. Earlier in the day we were hearing that the Giants were holding strong to a two year offer and Scutaro’s team wanted that third year, and obviously the Giants blinked. The Giants were suspected to be in competition with the Cardinals and the Yankees for his services.
Scutaro batted an unconscious .362/.385/.473 line with the Giants in the regular season and gathered twenty-one postseason hits in his first run in October since 2006 with Oakland.
If Marco Scutaro can continue to be a 2-wins above replacement player, he will make this contract worthwhile, even when he turns 40 at the end of his last contract. I think this deal will be OK for the Giants in the end, of course less money and less years would have been favorable for the team, but as Henry Schulman noted, the Giants were on a mission to keep the band together, and this was the price of doing it.
Your Opening Day Lineup, assuming good health:
Pitcher (Cain, I’m guessing)
Sorry if you clicked on this article when it originally got published. You were probably excited to see some picture or video to remind you of the times you loved Aaron Rowand. The only time that was really the case was when he celebrated Edgar Renteria‘s Game 5 HR, or when he tackled Cody Ross to the ground in Arlington. I don’t think there are any other positive memories I have of him, and that’s really too bad. Nowadays when you say his name, you’re often met with a retort of “slider low and away and probably in the dirt. strike three.” Poor guy. Not his fault the Giants offered him the money they did, and there were stories abound about his work ethic trying to get things right, but it really just never happened. 2007 in Philadelphia would be his peak and the valleys seemed to solely exist in a San Francisco uniform.
Angel Pagan just yesterday got himself four more years and forty million, and his wife has been busy tweeting out pictures of their celebrating, and good for them. They seem like good people, and so when good things happen to good people, people like that. But this isn’t a character post, it’s a post about the first seven years of Pagan and Rowand’s career. By now, the baseball reference linker has done its work and you can go check out both of those guys’ career pages and you’re doing your own research as to how Angel Pagan will end up like Aaron Rowand. You’re comparing OBP, their average, you’ve noticed that they both play center field. In a moment of panic, you suddenly think they are the same person, and now you’re remembering the Giants had a chance to sign Shane Victorino for some reason… but they didn’t! And you’re back to feeling OK and ready to look at the pretty colors below:
Helps to know what you’re looking at, so let me explain: Pagan’s Year One (Y1) is his age 24 season in 2006, and Rowand’s Y1 is his age 23 season in 2001. The first few years of each of their careers are especially smaller sample sizes, but it’s fun to look at anyway because I like numbers and spreadsheets. Rowand’s Y7 is his career year with the Phillies, while Pagan’s is just this past year in the 2012 season.
Now we see we might be able to attribute part of Pagan’s bad year in 2011 to his BABIP, and where he was in 2012 is about where he should be in his peak years. The only problem with that is that by the time Pagan’s contract is done, his peak years will be behind him, so it would be reasonable to not expect 2008, 2010, 2012 levels. This every other year thing reminds me of someone… nevermind.
Here you might be wondering why Pagan’s wOBA is normally so much less than Rowand’s and what we need to recall is what kind of player both of these guys are marketed as: Defensive CF with some pop, and the normal leadoff CF with speed, much less pop, but more contact. Home runs will score you more points with wOBA than will stolen bases.
This is the area where we really start to see the difference in the types of player Pagan and Rowand are. Even in Rowand’s career year sure he was swinging a little more, but his contact was just about the same as it was the year before. Pagan, who swings a little more than Rowand, makes a ton more contact… and that’s outside the strike zone.
After you look at Pagan’s numbers, you’re not surprised that his swing rate, even in the strike zone, is lower than Rowand’s. The man swings at less than half the pitches he gets overall as you’ll see below, and when he does swing at pitches inside the strike zone, he makes contact. Marco Scutaro, who was known for his inability to strike out, does have a crazy high (like high-90s) outside of the strike zone contact rate, but Angel Pagan actually has a better contact rate inside the zone than our buddy who might be getting a slightly crazy post-WS contract. To talk about Rowand here, it looks like in 2004 he really had a good idea of the strike zone, yet his contact rate was kinda low. Interesting.
Pagan since the 2010 season where he had his highest rate has, like Rowand since 2004 within this chart, exhibited more patience in choosing what to swing at. I don’t imagine a 30-year old’s swing stats getting much lower from here, but I’ll worry if Pagan starts swinging at more than 50% of the stuff offered, since that doesn’t seem to be the approach that’s working for him.
Of course, Pagan’s money numbers relative to the team are estimates, ranging from $140-$150MM payrolls, but being one of the bigger guys on the roster like Rowand was, who knows if that had any psychological effects. Since I can’t really expand on that and would be just be getting the “point and laugh at” treatment from anybody reading, I’ll just leave those graphs there and you can decide if they mean anything towards Pagan feeling more/less pressure than Rowand.
After going through all of this, it should be pretty clear that Angel Pagan and Aaron Rowand really are very different players, and I probably should’ve compared Angel Pagan to other speedy CFs out there that have gone through the process. There have been tweets out there noting that Torii Hunter has been the only late 30′s CF to keep his position, so while that may not bode well for Pagan holding his spot in CF, it doesn’t mean the results he produces shouldn’t be better than what Aaron Rowand brought to the Bay.
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.