Giants Optimistic About New Deal With Cain

There are early indications that the Giants will have a decent or better chance to lock Matt Cain on another long-term deal, writes Jon Heyman of  Heyman adds that the club offered Tim Lincecum a deal worth at least $100MM over five years but is now focusing on one- and two-year deals after being rebuffed.

Giants people are saying only that talks are "ongoing'' with Cain, but there seems to be a fair amount of optimism they can keep Cain for less than $20MM a season.   Cain already took one long team-friendly deal when he agreed to a three-year, $27.25MM contract prior to the 2010 season.  Our own Luke Adams recently explored what it would take for the Giants to lock the 27-year-old up with a new deal.

However, Lincecum seems more likely to wind up with a two-year deal rather than sign a contract into his free-agent years.  We've heard all offseason that the pitcher is in search of a short-term deal.  Yesterday we learned that the Giants offered a two-year, $40MM contract and Lincecum's representatives countered with a two-year, $44MM offer.

Heyman writes that baseball people believe that Cain could match Cliff Lee's $120MM deal as a free agent if he tests the market after the year, but word is that he badly wants to stay in San Francisco. Those in the industry also believe that if Lincecum can put together two more outstanding years, he can become the game's first $200MM pitcher on the open market in 2013.

95 Responses to Giants Optimistic About New Deal With Cain Leave a Reply

  1. Dylan 3 years ago

    I personally think Kershaw will get a $200+ million dollar deal after this year or next year. He is young enough, a lefty, and already a Cy Young winner. The Dodgers will have new owners and a ton of money. I think they will invest it in Kershaw, Hamels (although I hope he stays with the Phils), and maybe even a guy like Victorino or Bourn.

    • Dave 3 years ago

      wow, way to just talk about something that is entirely unrelated.  

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        “Those in the industry also believe that if Lincecum can put together two more outstanding years, he can become the game’s first $200MM pitcher on the open market in 2013.”

        …hardly unrelated. The way I stated it was that I think Kershaw will be the first 200MM+ pitcher in baseball.

        • Dave 3 years ago

          Still ain’t about Lincecum and it still means you jacked a Giants thing with some Dodgers bullcrap that nobody else was even talking about. 

          • Dylan 3 years ago

            Internet Censorship is bad.

          • vtadave 3 years ago

            …a bit harsh there bud.  If you don’t care to comment on Kershaw, don’t.

        • no pitcher will get more than 150mill only because they dont play everyday unless there unhittable for 2 years and have an era under twoonly reason c.c got so much was bc the yankees

    • How did “Giants optimistic about deal with Cain” turn into “Dodgers may invest 200 mil in Kershaw”?

    • JacksTigers 3 years ago

      You act like the Phillies have no money.

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        Not true, I am just stating that it would be very easy for Hamels (and his agent) to see that the Dodgers and the Yankees will give him more money that the Phillies are going to give him in F.A.

        • JacobyWanKenobi 3 years ago

          I wouldn’t count the Yankees in if they’re trying to do that whole CBA thing by 2014.

          I do agree that your Kershaw post was on topic. You were just stating your opinion against “those in the industry.”

          • Dylan 3 years ago

            Yeah, I agree. The performance of Banuelos and Pineda this year (in AAA for Banuelos) will depend how much money they will spend on pitching next year. If Banuelos proves that he will be ready next year and Pineda improves and shows he can pitch in AL East, they may not go after Cain or Hamels, but I still think the Yankees will be in on both in the end.

        • JacksTigers 3 years ago

          In your plan, you have them getting both Victorino and Hamels. I don’t see how that would happen.

    • bigpat 3 years ago

      SUPER cool story bro

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        …and the winner of the most redundant retort goes to…

    • so u want all the 2012 phillies haha

  2. Lights415 3 years ago

    I feel like vomiting

  3. The Giants aren’t going to win until they get some offense.

    • 55saveslives 3 years ago

      ummm 2010?

    • I’m talking about the future.

    • letsgogiants 3 years ago

      They will have both Posey and Sanchez healthy come spring training, along with the likes of Sandoval, Schierholtz, and Cabrera, so they will be in much better condition this year, barring injuries. And if Huff and Pagan can rebound from disappointing 2011s, then that will only be a plus for the Giants. With the way the Giants staff is along with their bullpen, they will be in good shape. Even in an injury riddled season, where most of their offense was either injured or ineffective, they were still an 86 win team. Like 2010, if they can get everyone to contribute and stay healthy, then they will be in the race with Arizona all year.

      • True, they are getting Posey back, so they will be better than last year, but I don’t know if that’s enough to beat Arizona. Arizona has a pretty good pitching staff, not as good as the Giants, but still good. Arizona definently has the better offense though, even with Posey coming back. But hey, anything can happen. Huff has a good year, the Panda contributing, anything can happen.

    • tdot32 3 years ago

      buster posey will make a difference once he’s back. they have a strong rotation, and they proved in 2010 that a meagre offense can accomplish anything as long as a team has solid pitching.

      • Buster Posey can’t do everything, they will have to have good years from Huff and Sandoval and they might have a chance. In 2010, the Giants barely got into the payoffs at 90 wins. Padres were there only competition and they weren’t that good. I think they will have to win about 95 games to have a good shot and compete with Arizona, but right now, the Dbacks are the best in the NL West.

        • tdot32 3 years ago

          as long as they make the post season, they have a shot. they don’t have to win the division; you’ll note that 90 wins would’ve gotten them into a playoff game with the cardinals last season. so if they can stay around the 90 win mark, they have a good chance to make it to the playoffs next year.

  4. Matt Cain… most underrated pitcher in baseball.

    • Dylan 3 years ago

      Agree. He is a fantastic pitcher yet never gets mentioned in the “Ace” category. In fact, one could argue that over the last three years, Cain has been more consistent than Lincecum has been. (not saying he’s been better).

      He’s a pitcher that you can pencil in for about 32-34 games, 220 innings, < 3 ERA, 175 K's, and < 1.1 WHIP. Nothing to complain about there.

      In fact, according to Fangraphs, he's already been worth over 100 million to the Giants and last year he worth 23 million. I think a fair deal would be 5/100 (maybe 15, 18, 20, 22, 25) with an option for the 6th year.

      • JacobyWanKenobi 3 years ago

        I agree. Actually, on MLBN some were saying Lincecum will be more of a #2 because of his mechanics and crap and that Cain will be the more consistent of the two. Of course, only time will tell, and you cannot take anything away from what Tim has done thus far. As he is now, he is an ace.

        I usually try to see all of Cain’s starts because he’s just fun to watch.

      • I agree in general, except I don’t think you can pencil him in for a sub 3 era. He’s only done that twice in his career.

        • WillieMaysField 3 years ago

          2.89, 3.14, 2.88 the last three years. Pretty good chance he’ll be around three again.

      • actually, Cain regularly gets mentioned as a #1…. just not on the Giants.

        long term, as a Giants fan, I actually prefer Cain. he’s a workhorse who does his job and doesn’t get rattled.

        • Riding_Waves 3 years ago

          Which is why his agent should be fired if he can’t find Matt #1 money somewhere else.  If you’re Cain’s agent, how do you convince him to stay in SF with the likelihood of making 3 to 4 million/year less than Lincecum?  Yes, the Giants gave Matt a shot at the bigs, but, he re-paid them with a WS trophy.  It’s time for him to move on.  Why?

          Look at Cain vs. Verlander.  They both have approximately 200 starts in their careers with 1300 innings pitched.  Based on those 1300 innings, their ERA and WHIP are almost identical.  Verlander has more strikeouts and fewer walks (approximately 20/year more and 10/year less, respectively, on average).

          You know where this is going Giants fans – Verlander’s career record is 107-57 while Cain is 69-73.

          Cain is a top pitcher with a career losing record.  How does his agent support Cain staying in SF?  He can get Ace money somewhere else, be the opening day starter and possibly dig out of a career sub .500 record.  Or, he can continue in SF (no pressure for Cain) and hope against hope that the Giants will get a big bat or some minor leaguer will be a game changer.  Cabrera and Pagan are not the answer.  F. Sanchez is one injury away from retirement, Huff is another year older, etc. etc.

          Again, and last time, if you’re Cain’s agent why do you want him to stay in SF?

          • Jason_F 3 years ago

            Maybe because an agent is supposed to further the objectives of his client and not vice-versa?  For all the time spent (not necessarily by you, of course) by people railing on athletes for not being loyal, you’re going to give it to Cain for NOT chasing every last dollar?  If he likes it in SF, who’s to say he shouldn’t stay?

  5. Tony DiQuattro 3 years ago

    So people can start getting used to the idea that we’re not keeping Lincecum.

    • WillieMaysField 3 years ago

      Enjoy Timmy the next two years and don’t worry about 2014 yet. signing Cain long term under 100m is the focus right now.

  6. Are the Giants “Raising Cain” or simply “Giving Cain” a raise? 
    Are they even “Able”?

  7. levendis 3 years ago

    Lets be realistic they arent going to keep both Linceculm and Cain. Both of those guys will demand 20M+ a year, and I cant see the Giants handing those contracts to both of them. The Giants are going to have to answer the question of who do they want to keep longterm. I’m not sure whats the right answer, I feel Linceculm is the better pitcher, but will he last long? Whoever they chose lock him up. I’m not sure how the Giants farm system is, I’m guessing they have some nice arms down there. The person they chose not to lock up they trade for some young impact hitters, similar to what the Ms did with Montero, but I feel the Giants will and should get a kings ransom for one of these two

    • $17857693 3 years ago

      lets be realistic? if they get Cain locked up for a deal like 6/110, and give lincecum his 2/44, then zito’s contract is up and that can go into Lincecum

      • levendis 3 years ago

        okay then you lose Lincecum in a couple years when he becomes a FA. You haven’t factored in the money guys like Sandoval, Posey are going to demand in a couple years

        • WillieMaysField 3 years ago

          Panda is going to make 8.2m in 2014 and zito has a 7m buyout. That is all the money committed beyond 2013. The Giants have zero money issues after 2012.

        • If for some reason payroll sinks back down to the 100 million threshold, then they’ll most likely move one of them. 

          If the Giants payroll hovers around 120 million like it did in 2011 they’ll easily be able to keep both Lincecum and Cain, as well as eventual arbitration raises for the likes of Posey, Sandoval and Bumgarner. 

          Sabean would be wise to explore early extensions for the 3 aforementioned arbitration players. They almost always favor the team, gives the execs a clearer picture of what payroll will look like further down the road and it makes the payer happy and wanted.

          With all this being said, I still think the Giants should move one of them for a king’s ransom. Lincecum would’ve easily fetched a Betances/Banuelos/Montero/+ package, or something similar from another team. While a payroll of 120 million is respectable, it still limits what you’re able to do with 40+ million allocated to two pitchers. 

          • Whole_New_World 3 years ago

            Sandoval is already extended through 2014.

  8. Why does he wanna stay in SF? He has no run support here! Meanwhile, in NY, he could be getting 22 wins/year…

  9. GriffeyandSizemore 3 years ago

    Doesn’t matter about this the Giants are going to the superbowl! oh wait..sorry San Francisco fans.

  10. A Jered Weaver team friendly 5/85? Yes please.

    • Dylan 3 years ago

      Weaver was in line to get a contract close to Sabathia’s. So in retrospect, he left about half on the table to stay in LA.

      If Cain were to do that, his deal would be about 5/65. That’s how good Weaver’s contract is.

      • Who’s to say Cain can’t do that on the Free Agent market?
        It’s stated above that Cain could match Lee’s 5/120. That’s 24 AAV
        Sabathia’s 8/182 is 22.75. His 7/161 was 23 AAV. With one more good season Cain could get around 22 AAV.
        Plus Weaver and Cain aren’t that different. Weaver: 3.31 ERA, 3.64 FIP, and 4.06 xFIP. Cain: 3.35 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 4.26 xFIP

  11. timmah_55 3 years ago

    Cain’s going to sign for an AAV of $20M for 5-6yrs.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      Seems about right.. I can see a 115/6 years . 

  12. I feel so damn bad for Matt Cain, on a decent offensive team he would have 100 career wins by now at age 27, instead he has 69 career wins-tied with Lincecum who has 50 less career starts than him.

    Just for Matt Cain’s sake I hope he goes somewhere like Boston(or Atlanta-he is from Alabama) that will give him a chance to win.

    • northsfbay 3 years ago

      If Cain played in a band box like Boston, he would have a higher era and not necessarily more wins.

  13. drumzalicious 3 years ago

    Giants should really just let Lincecum go. They are a mid market team trying to hold on to two TOR starters at FA prices. Granted things get easier once Zito is off the books but that’s 2 years from now and Lincecum doesn’t seem to be the type to take a backloaded deal.

    Trade him now, get some prospects and call it a day.

    • rainyperez 3 years ago

      The Giants increasing $130 million dollar payroll doesn’t scream mid market team to me.

  14. JackPackage 3 years ago

    No way should any team, EVER sign Lincecum to a $200 million deal… no pitcher is worth that, especially a midget with as awkward delivery as he has. If he is going to cost that much (which he might) then it is far more prudent for the Giants to sign Cain and Bumgarner long term and get the biggest haul ever for Lincecum.

    No point in SF putting all their cash into pitching and having no real offense… 2010 won’t happen again.

  15. monkeyking42 3 years ago

    As a Giants fan, Lincecum will always be one of my favorite pitchers, but once you take the sentimentality out of it, there’s not much reason to lock him up.  Long-term deals for pitchers are always risky, but especially one for a guy whose strikeout rates are trending in the wrong direction and who has looked so completely lost at times (see: August 2010).  It seems like he’s looking for $25M/year on the open market.  Good, I hope he gets it.  But the Giants aren’t the Yankees.  They can’t hand out Jeter-like contracts where even if the player plays as well as can possibly be expected, he still doesn’t exceed the value of the contract.  Timmy’s likely to be a really good pitcher for the next two years.  Be happy with that and then set him free.

    Cain’s a different story.  He’s consistent, he’s durable, he wants to stay in SF, and he’s still underrated by both casual fans (no wins) and stat-heads (he’s outperformed his career xFIP by almost a full point).  The deal will almost certainly be team-friendly, if not quite at the level of Weaver’s.

    Generally, I’m worried by this notion that other Giants fans seem to have that the front office somehow isn’t doing their duty if they don’t keep every homegrown player.  Posey, Sandoval, Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner, Wilson, Romo, Belt: all will just keep getting more expensive.  We didn’t make the playoffs last year.  If you use up every bit of payroll space just to keep the core intact, you’ll never sign another major free agent.  They’re going to have to make tough decisions at some point, and I think the first big one is locking up Cain but not Lincecum.

    • gmenfan 3 years ago

      Wait, we have to start being RATIONAL about this now ? Very well said.

  16. ric7744 3 years ago

    Sign Cain, worry about Lincecum later. I would not sign Lincecum for 8 years right now. we need to get Rowand and Zito off the books and then go from there? But need Cain long term

  17. ZAK 3 years ago

    Lincecum is a FA in 2014, not 2013. I realize it’s technically after the end of the 2013 season but it bears mentioning because no matter how the chips fall it’s these next 2 years that will be very telling about the future. Lincecum regained lost velocity once already, if he loses it again it will be much more difficult to get back. 

    Alternatively he could hone his craft with the changeup which will take velocity off as long as he keeps throwing it. If he gets his deuce consistent and masters the 2 seamer he could live with a low 90’s fastball and still be very successful. That would garner him the kind dough he wants and inspire the belief that he can keep going into his late 30’s. 

  18. bigpat 3 years ago

    I’d have to say Greinke. There is a possibility the Brewers can struggle without Braun and it may be hard for them to re-sign Greinke. Philly should be a top team again this year and will just let Hamels walk if they can’t resign him, and while I’m not sure about SF’s odds for success this year, Sabean seems to have too much pride to make either of these guys remotely available.

    Hopefully all these teams with an embarrassment of riches at starting pitcher will lose a few of them and share with the rest of the league. Just wishful thinking, because the loaded teams will sign them anyways since they have money. Nice to have 3-4 aces while other teams like Pittsburgh, KC, and Baltimore are rolling out #5 starters on opening day.

  19. timmah_55 3 years ago

    Greinke.  There’s no way Sabean lets both Cain and Lincecum start the season without signing one of them to a long term deal.  My guess would be Cain for 5/105 plus an option for a 6th year.

  20. terrible deal for SF.

  21. jwsox 3 years ago

    Hanley Dominguez and a top pitchin prospect or two or three.

  22. Dylan 3 years ago

    Lincecum for Hanley and Stanton. There ya go.

  23. Red_Line_9 3 years ago

    Sabean did deal Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals…I wouldn’t exactly call him a #5

  24. gmenfan 3 years ago

    “Nice to have 3-4 aces while other teams like Pittsburgh, KC, and Baltimore are rolling out #5 starters on opening day.”

    Lets add a little context to that statement ….

    The Pirates passed on Greinke, Francis, Kazmir, Hamels, and Cain in the 2002 MLB Draft and instead chose Brian Bullington. The Pirates also passed on Kershaw, Lincecum, and Kennedy in the 2006 MLB draft and instead took Brad Lincoln. Both have combined to make 20 starts with a 3-10 record and 5.29 ERA in 117 innings for the Pirates.

    Aside from Grienke(whom they drafted in 2006), the Royals passed on all of those players as well. Aside from Kershaw(who was already picked up by the Dodgers in 2006), the Orioles passed on all of the above mentioned pitchers too.

  25. tdot32 3 years ago

    i don’t see how it’s so terrible?

  26. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    have people forgotten how good hanley is already?

  27. levendis 3 years ago

    he has been dominant, if he was in any other team hed be the ace of the staff. CJ Wilson a 2 year starter got 15.5 mill a year, Burnett got around 16-17, so did Derek Lowe. Cain is one of the best pitchers in the MLB, hes going to demand more.

  28. Dylan 3 years ago

    I think he is worth the $20M. He has been pretty much dominant over the last three years. If he does it one more time, there is no reason he shouldn’t.

  29. Jon Melton 3 years ago

    Sanchez has the ability to be better than a 5  but has only produced better than a 5 once.

  30. Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

    Depends on if it’s a male squirrel.

  31. WillieMaysField 3 years ago

    I agree the giants should do that deal. I would have pursued Lincecum to the yanks for Gardner, Hughes, and one of there top pitching prospects. Then sign Oswalt and Reyes with lincecums money.

  32. timmah_55 3 years ago

    …because Hanley and Nolasco will be making a combined $24M in 2012 and $27M in 2013. Funds that could be spent on a $20-24M/yr Lincecum and others.

    Matt Dominguez by himself in not enough to make that deal even close to worth it. It’s a terrible trade considering the trade doesn’t bring back any future Ace.

  33. Red_Line_9 3 years ago

    That’s true, but the Royals only had to gived up Melky Cabrera for him.  Sanchez certainly does have wildly varying results.

  34. I think you underestimate how bad and fungible #5 starting pitchers are. As a career 4.26 ERA guy with some upside, he’s probably pretty solidly a 4.

  35. Yeah I wouldn’t be surprised or mad if he signed that, but I said 5/85 because they said they think they can get him for under 20 a year. Maybe Cain is willing to take such a team friendly deal so the Giants could add those extra 3-4 they save on Cain to add to Lincecum.

  36. northsfbay 3 years ago

    The Giants gave up on Sanchez. Million dollar arm, 10 cent brain. The Royals are taking a chance on him, with one year left until free agency, since they really need pitching.

  37. Dylan 3 years ago

    Hughes has no trade value at this point…especially in a trade for Lincecum.

    Giants would be looking for guys like Martin Perez, Julio Teheran, Gerrit Cole, Shelby Miller, Jameson Tallion, or Matt Moore. Not guys who project to be 4/5 pitchers or even BP pitchers.

    In my opinion it would take one of those pitchers and a big time power prospect/SS to get the Giants to even consider this.

    The Yankees could have had a shot with Montero and Banuelos. (Posey and Montero could switch off catching a playing first base which would be kind of neat).

    Or how about the Rangers offering Perez and Profar for Lincecum and then extending him right away instead of signing Prince.

    By the way, I know the Giants are not going to trade him and will work until the end to extend him, I’m just saying if they did they would at least two studs (maybe even three top 50 prospects).

  38. tdot32 3 years ago

    so any trade that doesn’t grab a future ace is terrible? hanley is a very good player, probably better than crawford will be, and matt dominguez is a highly touted prospect, so its not like they wouldn’t be getting anything back for lincecum. it may not be the best trade, but it wouldn’t be terrible, so to speak; it would just be expensive.

  39. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    3 years of Hanley is worth more than 2 years of Lincecum

    5 years of Stanton, 5 cheap years at that, is worth WAY more than 2 years of Lincecum.

    so there you go.


  40. Why would the Giants want to logjam first even more with a deal like this? They already have no room for Huff, Belt, and Pill?

    Perez and Profar makes sense but I doubt Texas feels like sinking anymore money into their rotation until they see Darvish in action unless it’s on an established closer.

  41. Dylan 3 years ago

    I was kidding.

    But if you take their WArR and average it out, Tim is worth around 5.5 WAR per year where Hanley is worth around 4 WAR. I’m three years that’s 11 WAR to 12 WAR. So it’s closer than you think. Not saying thats the perfect comparison, but I don’t think Giants would trade an Ace for a head case.

  42. Dylan 3 years ago

    I thought they moved Belt to RF? My bad.

  43. Dylan 3 years ago

    Matt Dominguez WAS a highly touted prospect.

    There, I fixed it for you.

  44. The_Thrill_22 3 years ago

    The saying is “A million dollar arm with a 5 cent head” Bull Durham shouldn’t be misquoted.

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