Category: looking ahead

A look at the 2013 season

Now that the hot stove is underway, it’s time to look at the current Giants roster, the payroll, and what holes to fill.
First off, the Giants payroll was around $120 million this year.  Considering they went to the World Series, that should allow them to add another $10-20 million (they upped the payroll $20 million when they won in 2010), but of course, we can’t be too sure of that, so let’s look at it as if they’re keeping the payroll in place.

Expiring contracts:
Aaron Rowand 12MM
Aubrey Huff 8MM (10MM 2012 contract- 2MM buyout)
Melky Cabrera 6MM
Freddy Sanchez 6MM
Jeremy Affeldt 5MM
Angel Pagan 4.85MM
Marco Scutaro 1.7MM
Ryan Theriot 1.25MM
Guillermo Mota 1MM
Nate Schierholtz 827K
Brad Penny 376K
Total: 47MM

Salary escalation:
Matt Cain +5MM
Tim Lincecum +4MM
Pablo Sandoval +2.5MM
Ryan Vogelsong +2MM
Barry Zito +1MM
Madison Bumgarner +190K
Total 14.69MM

Arbitration eligible + 2012 salary:
Hunter Pence 10.4MM (3.15MM with the Giants)
Brian Wilson 8.5MM
Santiago Casilla 2.2MM
Sergio Romo 1.575MM
Jose Mijares 925K
Clay Hensley 750K
Emmanuel Burris 625K
Buster Posey 615K
Eli Whiteside 600K
Gregor Blanco 516K
Yusmeiro Petit
Joaquin Arias

So in total , the Giants have about $32 million freed up, not counting arbitration raises, so let’s look at the breakdown of each player that arbitration eligible, how much they should be expected to make, and what I would do:

Hunter Pence- The fact that Pence had a huge performance dropoff in 2012, particular after the trade, will help the Giants big time.  Had he performed like he has in previous seasons, he’d be looking at upwards of $15 million.  Each year he’s been arbitration eligible, he’s received a raise between $3 million and $3.5 million.  Considering his poor performance, he won’t receive that, but a small raise to something slightly above $12 million, or $9 more than what the Giants paid him in 2012.
It’s a given he’ll be back, but the question is will it be for one year or will the Giants attempt to sign him to multi-year deal?  Perhaps re-sign to two years along the lines of $25 million with an option for the third year.

Brian Wilson- this one is somewhat tricky.  Under CBA rules, a player cannot receive more than a 20% paycut in arbitration, so Wilson would be receive a minimum of $6.8MM in arbitration.  Considering he wouldn’t get that much on the free agent market, and he’s coming off of Tommy John, and that Sergio Romo has the closer’s job locked down at this point, I would offer contract along the lines of $4-5 million and non tender him.  If some team is willing to pay more than, let them.  Although because of his popularity and marketability, I see the team giving him that $6.8MM minimum, or a $1.7 MM paycut.

Santiago Casilla- considering that his salary has gone up approximately $900k each of the last two season, I see it following that pattern again, bringing his salary up another $900k to $3.1MM.  Perhaps add in an extra year to his contract, buying out his first free agent year, making it a two year/ $8MM contract.

Sergio Romo- This one is tricky.  I can see him getting something similar to what Wilson got after 2010 during his second arbitration year ($6.5MM in 2011, $8.5MM in 2012).  A big difference is that Wilson was making nearly $3MM more that year than what Romo made this year.  I can see Romo getting a raise of upwards to $5MM, which is approximately $3.5MM more than 2012 (which is the raise Wilson got after 2009 after he emerged as a top closer).  Romo has two more years before he hits free agency, so maybe buy out his last two arbitration years and first year or two of free agency.

Jose Mijares- For a first year arbitration coming off a good season, should get a raise but not too much.  Somewhere along the lines of an extra million or so bringing his salary to just under $2 million.  Let’s just say $900K to match Casilla’s annual raise.

Clay Hensley-  Considering the depth of the Giants bullpen and Hensley is a 33 year old coming off a subpar season, there’s really no point keeping him around, especially since he’d likely get another 500-750K.

Emmanuel Burriss, Eli Whiteside, Yusmeiro Petit- Goodbye.  Useless.

Joaquin Arias- A solid utility infielder making league minimum in 2012, makes sense to keep him around.  Wouldn’t command more than a 500K raise.

Buster Posey- this is one of the main ones.  You gotta look at Lincecum’s record setting contract after winning back to back Cy Youngs as the starting point.  Lincecum got a two year contract making $9 million in 2010 and $14 million in 2011.  I’d probably sign him to a long term deal, using Lincecum’s four arbitration years as the template.  From 2010-2013, Lincecum’s two two year deals add up to $63 million.  I’d like to see the Giants match that for Posey, and then add his first two free agent years for an extra $47 million or so, making it a 6 year/ $110MM contract.  On a one year basis, Posey will receive at least a $10MM raise and break Ryan Howard’s first year arbitration record.

Gregor Blanco- I think you gotta look at Andres Torres after 2010 as the template for this one.  Like Blanco, Torres was a minor league scrub who broke through with the Giants, helping them win a World Series and for his efforts got a $1.8MM raise.  Considering Blanco didn’t have nearly the offensive year Torres had two years ago and will likely be looking to be a backup next year, I say he gets about half that which would be $900K

Considering the estimated arbitration raises (based on one year deals):
Posey $10MM
Pence $9MM
Romo $3.5MM
Mijares $900K
Casilla $900K
Blanco $900K
Arias $500K

Non tenders:
Wilson $8.5 MM
Hensley 750K

So considering the arbitration numbers are all estimates, the Giants have along the lines of $15 million to spend, plus whatever the front office decides to add to the maximum payroll.  Here’s what we’re looking at:
C. Posey
1B. Belt
2B. ?
3B. Sandoval
SS. Crawford
LF. ?
CF. ?
Rf. Pence
Bench:
C. Sanchez
IF. ?
IF. ?
OF. Blanco
OF. ?
SP. Cain
SP. Bumgarner
SP. Lincecum
SP. Vogelsong
SP. Zito
CL. Romo
P. Lopez
P. Mijares
P. Kontos
P. Casilla
P. ?
P. ?

In order to keep this team intact, specifically Scutaro, Pagan, Wilson, and Affeldt, would cost a combined $30 million a year, or something along those long.  The backup infield and outfield spots could be filled from within (Pill, Noonan) or some low cost free agent like Theriot.  So right now, we’re basically looking at an extra $15 million added to the payroll just keeping what we have, with the need to find another outfielder.  I would bring back Melky in a second if it was a 1-2 year deal and not making more than $5-6MM a year.  Otherwise, who knows?  I’d make a run for BJ Upton.  He’s still young, fast, is good for 20+ homers, and has the possibility of a breakout season, and would be willing to sign a short-term contract so he could have that breakout year and cash in.  Maybe something along the lines of two years $20-$25 million perhaps?  Of course, this would mean a $140+ million payroll, or about the same increase as it was last time the Giants won the World Series.
I guess it all comes down to how much the front office is willing to spend.  Last year they were able to make the adjustments needed without raising payroll, hopefully they can do it again if the ownership group won’t open their purse strings.