Arbitration Eligibles: San Francisco Giants

The Giants are next in our arbitration eligibles series.

With 13 arbitration eligible players, the Giants are tied with the Padres for having the biggest group we've reviewed so far.  The difference?  Lincecum projects to earn about as much as all 13 arbitration eligible Padres combined.

Lincecum is primed for a historic arbitration case, as I explained in detail in May.  At that time, one agent told me, "This negotiation will transcend arbitration and will be a mini free agency discussion."  The $19MM figure mentioned by agents at the time holds up under Matt Swartz's arbitration projection system, which predicts $19.2MM assuming Lincecum is working from a $14.1MM base in 2011.  No matter what the exact number, Lincecum will set an arbitration record unless he signs a multiyear deal.  He's open to another two-year contract, and I think something like $35MM would be a good deal for the club.  Keep in mind that Lincecum will otherwise be arbitration eligible one last time for 2013.

Giants GM Brian Sabean admitted to reporters in September that the team will probably not bring all 13 arbitration eligible players back.  Sanchez, with a projected $5.2MM salary, would seem a prime non-tender candidate.  However, Sabean suggested Sanchez would be in the rotation mix next year.  Sabean said Keppinger "might be a luxury item" for next year, since Freddy Sanchez is under contract.  At a projected $2.7MM, I think the Giants will be able to make a trade if they feel Sanchez is ready.

I think Torres at a projected $2.5MM is a candidate to be non-tendered.  Fontenot ($1.3MM), Whiteside ($700K), and Burriss ($600K) are on the bubble as well.  That leaves Sandoval ($3.2MM), Vogelsong ($2.5MM), Ramirez ($2.3MM), Casilla ($1.9MM), Romo ($1.3MM), and Schierholtz ($1.2MM) as players you can expect back in 2012.   

If Torres, Fontenot, Burriss, and Whiteside are non-tendered, the remaining nine could cost the Giants an estimated $39.5MM.  Sabean expects a $124MM payroll.  The team owes $72.433MM to players under contract, if Jeremy Affeldt's buyout is excluded but Aaron Rowand's salary is included.  Add the arbitration group and we're up at $112MM, $12MM shy of Sabean's payroll figure, before minimum salary players are considered.  The Giants expect to re-sign Affeldt, and perhaps a center fielder/leadoff man.  That might be all they can afford, but as Sabean indicated, the team's flexibility will hinge on how much money they allocate toward retaining their top pitchers.

Matt Swartz contributed to this post.


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29 Comments on "Arbitration Eligibles: San Francisco Giants"


Jason_F
3 years 10 months ago

I’d love to be a fly on the wall in Sandoval’s arbitration hearing.  5.5 WAR in 466 PA, one year after an abysmal season, which followed another 5.5 WAR season in 2009.  What an odd career thus far…

notsureifsrs
3 years 10 months ago

true, but arbitrators don’t know or want to know what WAR is. neither does brian sabean for that matter

3 years 10 months ago

But even they can all agree he had one good year, one terrible year, and one solid year.

baycommuter
3 years 10 months ago

I’d bet the arbitrator would pretty much ignore the sophomore slump.

3 years 10 months ago

Serious question for the Giants fans.  Has there been any talk in the Bay area about Jimmy Rollins joining the Giants?  The feeling here in Philadelphia was that Jimmy always wanted to finish his career near his home in Oakland.  Is this realistic from the Giants end? 

55saveslives
3 years 10 months ago

Im sure the two sides will talk. Crawford isnt ready. We have no other options at SS. I couls see Giants offerin 3yr 30 mill

James Czerwinski
3 years 10 months ago

Crawford is only a stop gap for Joe Panik who will be the starter in 2 yrs….so I don’t see Rollins coming for anymore than that……..if you are going after a SS for 5 seasons it will be Reyes…not Rollins

Robert O'Binnster
3 years 10 months ago

From what Ive heard, Panik isnt projecting as a SS at the MLB level anymore.  I think it was Bud Evans who said he looks more like a future 2B.

Too lazy too look it up though, and I think it was from an interview with Marty Laurie (sp?)

3 years 10 months ago

This is right, in Arizona Fall League, Panik is playing 2nd while Crawford is at SS.  With cost of pitching this coming season (Cain, Timmy and Vogelsong), unfortunately,  Crawford will have ever opportunity to play SS next season (but will eventually fail w/o a decent bat, great glove, but not good enough with the bat).  

ramjamrock
3 years 10 months ago

Panik is only playing 2B in the AFL because Crawford is there, but they still wanted to challenge Panik’s bat. The Giants insist that they have no immediate plans to move Panik off of SS, that it is only circumstance that has him at 2B right now.

3 years 10 months ago

The Giants aren’t likely to give Rollins the 5 years he’s asking for. We’ve had a long string of old shortstops and I don’t see Sabean going down that long-term path. 

Mattbyas
3 years 10 months ago

Rollins would be a good faith signing to fans, but if we give him the deal he wants and he doesn’t produce, then we will all complain that it was a bad signing. Crawford has the potential to be a solid SS for us, an allstar, probably not, but if he continues with his solid defense, i’d settle for .260 with 40 or so RBI’s 

3 years 10 months ago

I don’t really see it.  Rollins isn’t the player he once was, but he’ll still want to be paid like he is.  I like Rollins as a player, but as a GM I’d be pretty wary of throwing much money his way.

3 years 10 months ago

I can tell you first hand, Rollins’ glove and arm are still as good as ever, however his bat is declining.  He does not have the power that he had before, and he was never a terribly selective hitter to begin with.  He is probably the least prototypical lead-off hitter in the game. 

The local beat writers here in Philadelphia have really played up this “Bay Area” angle, mainly to fill copy, I’m sure.  However after looking at this list of players that Sabean needs to deal with, I can not see how, or more importantly why, the Giants would be interested in Rollins for more than a year or two.  That said, I think the Phillies could offer three years and have few, if any other, real competition for his services.  Of course Rollins’ side will never say this.

But thanks for the replies, I was very curious about what Giant fans’ thoughts were.

AndreTheGiantKiller
3 years 10 months ago

Is there any way we could get an arbitration projection app of some kind on the site?? I think it would be cool to project what players would get from year before they hit arbitration. Just a thought

3 years 10 months ago

Well it won’t be an app, but we’ll be putting out projected salaries for all 200+ arb eligible players soon, along with an explanation on how we got their numbers.

AndreTheGiantKiller
3 years 10 months ago

Awesome. I’d really like to know how you guys do come up with a number

East Coast Bias
3 years 10 months ago

Good idea from our version of Big Time Timmy Jim lol

I know you’re fascinated with the business end of baseball just as much as I am. Catch The Dotted Line, on ESPN tonight. I think it’s part of the 30 for 30 series. 

Mattbyas
3 years 10 months ago

The fact of the matter is, if we have a healthy roster we have an offense that can compete in the NL West, there is no reason we can’t go out and get an affordable leadoff hitter, which is the only component missing. Don’t expect Beltran to be back, and Cuddyer will be out of our price range. I like Coco Crisp leading off, and bringing back all of our pitching if we can. We have the prospects in place the fill the void in the event of an injury.  But with Posey and Sanchez out, we really didn’t do as terrible as we could have.

Fun fact: Coco Crisp’s OBP last year was .002 points higher than Torres’.

3 years 10 months ago

I don’t see how SF would possibly non-tender Andres Torres for 2.5 million?  Fangraphs has him at 2 WAR last year, which sounds about right, give or take about 0.5 WAR.  That puts him at a value around 8m or more.  So at the minimum, they should sign and flip him if they feel they don’t need him.  Non-tendering him over 2.5m would be pretty dumb.  And that’s ignoring entirely that he was a monster last year.

3 years 10 months ago

They will, and I will be furious.  

58
3 years 10 months ago

how far back does arbitration look? just the last year or the last several? lincecum had a very good year this year but not as great as kershaw,  but if you combine all four years of his career he is the best pitcher in  baseball.

i was kind of hoping lincecum would crack 20 mil. i like round numbers.

3 years 10 months ago

I’m also pretty dubious about non-tendering Whiteside.  He’s entirely unimpressive, but given Bochy’s preferences for vets I’d be quite surprised if he doesn’t end up on the roster somehow.  The team needs some sort of backup catcher.  I’d expect something more like this:
Arbitration/Signed: Sandoval, Romo, Casilla, Lincecum, Sanchez, Ramirez, Vogelsong, Schierholtz
Below Arb Deals (e.g. take this deal or we cut you): Whiteside
Cut: Keppinger, Fontenot, Burriss
Additionally, this article seems to ignore the point that any Lincecum deal would almost certainly be a bit backloaded.  That means that they might be spending 22m next year and only about 15m this year or something of that nature.  That would significantly free them up to sample the FA market.  With that said, if they go to an expensive FA CF I will be pretty disappointed.  CF is a generally weak-hitting position and they have a solid glove there already.  I’d be targeting high-end offense, not guys like Coco Crisp (and I like Coco- but not for SF).  In other words, I’d be seeing what it takes to get Prince Fielder on a backloaded contract that pays out big after Zito is off the books.

Richard Stalker
3 years 10 months ago

A punk like Fielder has no place on this team. If they are going to fork out the money, get Pujols.

see_span
3 years 10 months ago

Whiteside was horrible. Giants fans should puke if he comes back. 

Namio
3 years 10 months ago

I wouldn’t cut Keppinger. There’s no guarantees on Freddie’s health. If Freddie plays over 100 games I’ll consider that as really lucky.

With Freddy Sanchez’s health problems, I don’t see Fontenot getting cut, especially not at that price.  Sabean/Bochy I think even said that they wanted to keep some flexibility at 2B.

baybombers
3 years 10 months ago

Great….so the chances of us signing anyone significant are not good unless the ownership group decides to throw in more money