The Giants are next in our 2012 Contract Issues series. Here's what the team faces after the 2011 season:
Eligible For Free Agency (6)
- Veteran position players Miguel Tejada, Cody Ross, Mark DeRosa, and Pat Burrell will be eligible for free agency after the season. Tejada, Ross, and DeRosa are making $6MM+ this year, and it probably won't make sense to keep them around at similar salaries.
- Relievers Javier Lopez and Guillermo Mota are both off to good starts in the early going.
Contract Options (1)
- Jeremy Affeldt: $5MM club option with a $500K buyout. I'm not sure this is a good investment given Affeldt's control issues. I'm leaning toward this being declined right now.
Arbitration Eligible (11)
- First time: Pablo Sandoval, Sergio Romo, Nate Schierholtz, Eli Whiteside
- Second time: Andres Torres, Santiago Casilla, Ryan Vogelsong
- Third time: Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez, Ramon Ramirez, Mike Fontenot
Lincecum is the arbitration case everyone will be watching. He was aiming for a first-time record before settling on a two-year deal in February of last year. Lincecum is in a class by himself and could seek close to $20MM for 2012. The Giants could try for another multiyear extension instead of working to prevent their ace from shattering arbitration records for his '12 and '13 salaries.
Sandoval and Sanchez deserve consideration for extensions as well. Otherwise, I could see the pair earning around $12MM in total for '12. Torres, Romo, and Ramirez would also make sense to retain at the least. It's a very rough estimate, but the Giants' arbitration eligibles could get around $40MM for next year.
2012 Payroll Obligation
The Giants' 2012 payroll obligation, according to Cot's, is $72.933MM including Affeldt's buyout. Arbitration eligible players could put them in the $113MM range, $5MM shy of this year's $118MM payroll. It's difficult to see the Giants taking payroll much higher, so barring trades or money-saving extensions GM Brian Sabean will have to go cheap at shortstop and in the outfield.