West Links: Cain, Conger, McCarthy

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, a free agent after this season, discussed his contract earlier today, intimating that he won't take a hometown discount to remain in Texas. It should make for an interesting season for the All-Star. Here are some other links from around the West divisions …

  • Giants pitcher Matt Cain's agents, Landon Williams and Rick Landrum, have joined CAA Sports, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal, and are continuing extension negotiations on behalf of the right-hander under that company (Twitter links). As with Hamilton, Cain hinted earlier this month that he's not inclined to accept a club-friendly deal.
  • With Chris Iannetta on board as the Angels' starting catcher, it looks like Hank Conger will begin the season in the minors so as to avoid riding the bench in the Majors, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLA.com. Conger could be expendable, Saxon adds, if Iannetta and the Halos exercise their $5MM mutual option for 2013.
  • Athletics starter Brandon McCarthy's transition from a disappointing prospect to a post-hype breakout star in 2011 is documented by Eddie Matz of ESPN The Magazine. McCarthy overhauled his pitching approach after studying up on sabermetrics, parlaying his 2011 success (AL-best 2.86 FIP) into a $4.275MM arbitration reward for 2012 and a shot at a possible long-term extension.

67 Responses to West Links: Cain, Conger, McCarthy Leave a Reply

  1. Dave 3 years ago

    Can’t wait for Cain to be the new #2 on the Cardinals next year.  The Giants can’t afford both him and Lincecum and the Cardinals don’t have to pay out Pujols money anymore so it seems like a good fit to me.  

    • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

       The Cardinals can’t afford him either… unless they want to lose Yadi and Wainwright in the near future.

      • Dave 3 years ago

        Sure they can, Lohse and Westbook are pulling in more than the 20m/year that he’ll want.   If they had 20m+ above that for Pujols, they can easily afford him.   

      • Ferrariman 3 years ago

        Lohse 12mil+westbrook 8.5mil+Carpenter 11mil+berkman 12mil = a LOT of money gone.  Carpenter might be the year after but even if you take him out, thats over 30mil. The beauty of it is that for one of lohse/westbrook their will already be a spot filled for by Shelby Miller.

      • Ferrariman 3 years ago

        Lohse 12mil+westbrook 8.5mil+Carpenter 11mil+berkman 12mil = a LOT of money gone.  Carpenter might be the year after but even if you take him out, thats over 30mil. The beauty of it is that for one of lohse/westbrook their will already be a spot filled for by Shelby Miller.

    • I do like the fit. Don’t forget Berkman is coming off too. Thats about 32 million dollars. I don’t think they get him though. Cards have been reluctant to hand out big money deals to players who haven’t been with the club before. In a perfect world we’d get Bourn and a Cain/Hamels type guy.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      They can afford him, I just dont think that it is wise to commit $23 aav to one player, when your payroll is around 100 million. It is a move that the nyy, rs, nym, can afford to make, but i dont see them commiting 1/4 of payroll to one player that will want 7 years, and is already 28/29

      • FrnchDp 3 years ago

        where did you read that Cain wanted a 7 yr deal?

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          It is common sense.  He won’t give a hometown discount, which means he is aiming for top dollar.  With what he has shown some team will most likely give him 6 years at least. 

          • FrnchDp 3 years ago

            He won’t give a home town discount because he already gave us one. I’m not in denial that he could potentially decide to go play elsewhere, but I think that if the Giants are in the ballpark of what his market value is, he’ll more likely stay in SF than go elsewhere for a few bucks more.

      • rainyperez 3 years ago

        You do know that the Giants payroll is at $130 million and rising right? 

        • You do know that the Giants 2012 payroll currently sits at $114.38 million right?

          I know you were refuting the fact that Cain’s AAV would eat up 25% of the Giants payroll, but Cain/Lincecum together would presumably eat up a collective 40% of the Giants payroll once extensions are handed out to both.

          Predictably, payroll shot up after they won the WS, but don’t expect it to keep climbing.

          • tzill 3 years ago

             Ryan, you might want to get your facts straight before you make proclamations on the interwebs.  The Giants 2012 payroll sits at $126.708MM before you add in Posey, Bum, Runzler, and Belt.  In other words, $130MM, as has been widely reported.

          • Then I suppose it depends entirely on where you pull your numbers from- in my case, I pulled them from Cot’s baseball contracts.

            Please, enlighten me with any and all discrepancies. 

            2012 salaries, San Francisco Giants:

            Zito- 19; Lincecum- 18; Cain- 15; Huff- 10; Wilson- 8.5; Cabrera- 6; Sanchez- 6; Affeldt- 5; Pagan- 4.85; Lopez- 4.25; Sandoval- 3.2; Vogelsong- 3; Casilla- 2.2; Romo- 1.575; Schierholtz- 1.3; Theriot- 1.25; Fontenot- 1.05; Mota- 1; Hensley- .750; Whiteside- .6; Posey- .575; Bumgarner- .450; Runzler- .4185; Belt- .414.

            The figures for Belt, Runzler, Bumgarner and Posey were from 2011, but seeing as how none of them are arbitration eligible, those figures will see negligible increases at best.

            24 players total. Cot’s is a very reputable site used by journalists and bloggers alike. 

            I’m not sure where you got $126.708 from, but the only thing i can think of is that your source simply averaged the total amount of players’ contracts evenly for each year- In which case Lincecum’s AAV would be 20 million, Pablo’s would be ~5.7, and so on and so forth.

          • tzill 3 years ago

            Three errata, one big and two small.  First, you failed to include Rowand at $13.6MM.  Second, Timmy is 18.25MM.  Third, Cain is 15.33MM.  Thus, you are low by about $14MM, which would explain the discrepancy between your numbers and the actual ones.  I pulled my numbers from Cot’s as well.  It is a quite reputable source.

            I should also note that you have Whiteside as the backup C, when it will likely be Hector Sanchez; you have Runzler as an eighth RP, which we won’t carry; you omit our starting SS (Crawford) and our backup infielder (Pill). None of these change the numbers much as they’re all at or close to the league minimum.

          • rainyperez 3 years ago

            You’re forgetting Rowand…

          • rainyperez 3 years ago

            2017 mortgage payments are done for the Giants AT&T park. FO has said that their payroll will rise and continue to do so. Just because ESPN doesn’t talk about Giants controlling a big market doesn’t mean it isn’t. If the A’s weren’t located in the same vicinity the Giants would control probably one of the biggest markets in baseball. 

          • rainyperez 3 years ago

            Also check you’re research buddy next time…

    • FrnchDp 3 years ago

      FO has already come out and said that they’ve set themselves up financially to be able to retain both Cain and Lincecum. With Rowand, Huff and Zito (in 2) coming off the books (and possibly Wilson), there is a large chunk of change with both their names on it. 

      If Cain decides to hit the FA, the Giants may likely get outbid by bigger market teams, but they will be able to make a decent offer regardless. Cain has also said that he loves SF, loves the pitching staff that he’s a part of.  But he’s put in his dues with this team, and already gave them a great team discount his last extension.  I imagine he’ll get somewhere in the 18 per for 4-5 yrs.

  2. Houston_Astros 3 years ago

    I’m not sure what Cain will do outside of San Francisco.  I think that whoever ends up with him will be overpaying, to be honest.

  3. higherbeen 3 years ago

    Sorry Dave, they can afford him and have no intention of letting him go

  4. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Not a good sign for SF.. he knows the NYY will bid high and even Boston of big market teams.. both are looking to pare payroll down, but it is rare for a SP of his talent to hit the open market.

    I see him heading a class both salary and talent wise next year that could consist of Himself, Hamels, Grienke and Sanchez in the upper tier.

    Boras has to be hoping at last a couple of them sign extensions to help jackson get positioned in the market, or he may get even less on a 1 year deal in 2013.

  5. Dylan 3 years ago

    If Hamels and Greinke sign an extension (I think they both will) before the season or during the season, Cain could get into the perfect storm with the Dodgers, Cubs, Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, and Giants bidding for him. All teams could use him (maybe not the Angels but hey, they have money to spend with Hunter, Abreu, and Santana coming off the books).

    The Dodgers could pair him with Kershaw and the Cubs with Garza to form a good 1-2 punch.

    The Yankees, Red Sox, and Giants would use him in the trio (CC/Cain/Pineda, Lester/Cain/Bucholz or Beckett, and obviously Lincecum/Cain/Bumgarner)

    He will cash in big (as will Hamels and Greinke) no matter what. I’d like to see Cain stay in SF personally. I always look forward to the Phillies vs. Giants series when we get the big three from each teams, its fun as a fan to see such great pitching.

    • Ervin Santana has an option for 2013.

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        Yeah, but if Cain hits the market, maybe they decline that option.

        • tacko 3 years ago

          It would be much wiser buying a pitcher of Ervin Santana’s caliber for one year than Cain to a 6+ year contract. There’s no way they decline his option unless he tanks 2012 or gets injured.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      I see Sanchez as the most likely to sign an extension. couple of reasons.

      1) he would probably be the cheapest of the quartet
      2) JJ always has a health issue and Sanchez has been the “rock” over the last couple of years.

      those 2, coupled with Loria spending freely and doubt anyone sees Buehrle as anything but an innings eater on any staff makes me thing Beinfest will sit down and hammer out a 3-4 year deal with an AAV in the 12-14m range.

    • tzill 3 years ago

       And I see him signing a 5 year deal for about $100MM this Spring. We’ll see who’s right.

  6. Nick Sossamon 3 years ago

    Why are the Angels so down on Conger?  This kid has so much potential, yet he seems like the odd man out even after Bobby Wilson?  I mean, seriously?  How does Bobby freaking Wilson become the backup catcher before Conger.   The world may never know. 

    • People like backup catchers to be defense-first and for someone who might have a future, you’d rather give him 500 plate appearances in Triple-A than only 200 in the bigs.

      In their defense, I think they got Iannetta for pennies on the dollar. I like Conger and I still would have gotten Iannetta at that price.

      • Nick Sossamon 3 years ago

        I just have this feeling that Scioscia isn’t too high on Conger because he’s a more offensive oriented backstop, and that we might have another Mike Napoli situation occur.  I just hope we don’t trade him for some crappy lowball offer and he ends up being a .350 OBP 20+ HR guy somewhere else.

        • Totally fair. He might even quietly be a better DH option than the much more famous guys.

    • SoCalAngelsFan75 3 years ago

      Bobby f Wilson is out of options.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      because a backup catcher only gets ~150 ab over the season.  Are those extra at bats worth the extra season of control before free agency?  Also it is better to have young players, especially catchers getting their regular time playing, rather than just sitting on the bench.  You learn to play sports better by doing, not watching.

  7. Was it studying up on sabermetrics that taught Brandon McCarthy to get his health back in order and sign with a team that played in a homer-unfriendly ballpark?

    • Snoochies8 3 years ago

      it helped him change his pitch selection which really helped him a lot, he changed his whole approach and induced a ton more ground balls

      best part of that whole story though, amanda mccarthy on the front page, she is hawtttt

      • Iconoclast17 3 years ago

        Yep. We’ll miss her when Billy flips Brandon at the deadline. He’s the best asset the A’s have right now.

        By then, Braden should be back and Anderson not far away. (Beane said in a recent interview) that they aren’t going to “rush” Dallas, which means the southpaw won’t be ready by April. 

        Post All Star: Colon, Braden, Anderson (probably in Aug./Sept.), Milone, Parker and Peacock, with Godfrey and Ross challenging. Who’d I leave out?

      • Iconoclast17 3 years ago

        Yep. We’ll miss her when Billy flips Brandon at the deadline. He’s the best asset the A’s have right now.

        By then, Braden should be back and Anderson not far away. (Beane said in a recent interview) that they aren’t going to “rush” Dallas, which means the southpaw won’t be ready by April. 

        Post All Star: Colon, Braden, Anderson (probably in Aug./Sept.), Milone, Parker and Peacock, with Godfrey and Ross challenging. Who’d I leave out?

  8. Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

    3.32 ERA, 1.131 WHIP, 6.5 K/9

    Never would’ve guessed McCarthy would lead the league in FIP with numbers like that. Not that they’re bad, I just assumed it was someone like Verlander, Haren, or Price.

  9. Torture2010 3 years ago

    Come on now people! Our outfield is fast right now with pagan, melky and nate the great. This will take away pressure from all 3 positions as they can all cover a lot of real estate and not one guy will fell like he has to cover 2/3 of the entire field. This is going to be a quiet good team all around as we will have an offense that will click in all the right ways. It does not take a couple power guys to score all of the runs as this team will win for playing all aspects of the game. Remember that this team went something like 56-9 when scoring 4+ runs a game so it will not take much to rule! Take it as you will though.

  10. Torture2010 3 years ago


  11. Brandon McCarthy is a ” post-hype breakout star” ???? Really?  For ONE 9-9 season in a pitcher friendly park.  And we wonder why so many guys are overpaid…

    • Cosmo3 3 years ago

      King Felix was 14-14 this year. Last year, his CY year, he was 13-12. You shouldn’t even consider win-loss records when gauging a pitcher. 

  12. Hello from LA Matt Cain

  13. rainyperez 3 years ago

    I wonder why there is a misconception of the Giants payroll? The media or people do not want to believe that the Giants payroll is large and still think its still hovering at $100 million. It is at $130 million FYI. 

    Next season the Giants will shed about $30 million and the main brass has stated that their payroll will increase yet again and with their 2017 mortgage payments of AT&T done there is another $20 million to play with. That means they can backload any contracts they want if they so desired.

    • FrnchDp 3 years ago

      I’m not a huge fan of backloaded contracts (see Zito.. Rowand..) since those tend to burn us in the end.  Part of setting themselves up for the big 2 was to not sign a big FA this o/s, and the knowledge that Rowand and Huff come off (~20+MM) in ’13, with Zito finally walking into the sunset the following season (with a 7MM parting gift..).

      • rainyperez 3 years ago

        It’s Rowand, Huff, Affeldt, and F. Sanchez come off the books. Which would in turn free up about $33-34 million dollars. Down the road they’ll be able to lock their rotation and a sign a big bat free agent. Let’s not forget that Posey and Bumgarner are not eligible for FA till 2016 and 2017. 


        • FrnchDp 3 years ago

          but they are Arb eligible starting next year. And Affeldt signed a 2 yr deal, so he won’t be off the books until end of ’13. Also, Huff has a 2M buyout in ’13.

          With Panda, Posey, and a potentially power-hitter in Belt, I don’t see the need for that “big bat” FA any time soon. I’d rather work on keeping up one of the best pitching staffs in the majors.

          • rainyperez 3 years ago

            Actually Affeldt is a FA in 2013. The Giants picked up his $5 million dollar option for 2012. 

          • FrnchDp 3 years ago

            apologies.. I got him and Lopez’s deals mixed up. thanks for the clarification.

          • rainyperez 3 years ago

            No need to apologize its all good. Let’s just hope Sabean doesn’t make some terrible mistake with that that $30+ million he’ll have next season. 

            In my honest opinion I want Bobby Evans to take over the GM spot. His knowledge of prospects and the organization is great from what I can tell from interviews. I hope he is the successor for Sabean. 

          • FrnchDp 3 years ago

            It’s sounds most likely, but they just extended Sabean a couple more years, correct?
            I think that 30+mil will also have to go toward Posey and MadBum’s first arb eligibility. And Romo will likely want a raise. And possibly having to resign Wilson (that’s likely to be 10mil min unless he misses half of ’12). And my guess they’ll resign either Melky or Pagan based on this season.

            In all likelihood, they’ll have to expand the roster a bit more. But luckily, we do have a nice group of youngsters.

          • rainyperez 3 years ago

            Actually Affeldt is a FA in 2013. The Giants picked up his $5 million dollar option for 2012. 

        • tzill 3 years ago

           Per my reply above, I don’t see us being able to “sign a big bat” until 2014, when Zito is off the books. But sign Cain to an extension?  Hell yes.

      • tzill 3 years ago

         The Giants have about $60MM committed to the 2013 payroll, but that’s only 5 guys under contract (Zito, Timmy, Lopez, Panda, Song, plus $2MM for Huff’s buyout).  If you add in — Cain 20, Wilson 9, Melky 8, Casilla 2.5, Romo 2, Nate 2, Fonty 1.5, Posey 4.  Six pre-arb (Sanchez, Bum, Runz, Belt, Crawford, Pill) you’re at about $112MM or so with 19 players under contract .  That leaves $20MM or so and six open spots (2 RP, 2B, bench MI, starting OF, bench OF).  Obviously, Panik, Brown, and Peguero will have something to say about that.

        • rainyperez 3 years ago

          No guarantee that those prospects outside of Brown will succeed or even Brown succeed. 

          Remember I said they’ll have the ability to sign a bat with their payroll not that they will sign one. It’s the flexibility of their payroll some people outside of ourselves that understand where the Giants stand in payroll rank.

          The Giants will do everything they can to make sure Bumgarner’s and Posey arb years are wrapped up after this season.

          My guess is Melky and Pagan will not be returning in 2013 but one of them could sign.. If the Giants organization really believe in Brown and if he has another great season in AA-AAA than he is the starting CF for the Giants. With Belt taking the 1st base spot and LF open to a FA option or go with a cheaper minor league option.

  14. Cool 3 years ago

    Conger ,abreu for David price

    • philliesfan136 3 years ago


    • philliesfan136 3 years ago


    • Rusty_Arcadia 3 years ago

      I’m one that thinks Conger has a lot of promise, but that’s funny right there!

      • byebyeMathis 3 years ago

        Not a snowballs chance in you know where, or I’m just thinking like Sheldon Cooper and not getting your sarcasm.

      • 1980CHAMPS 3 years ago

        Conger just seems like one of those unfortunate “offensive” catchers who can’t hit.  

  15. You seem to be missing my point/joke.

  16. That attributing his success to studying sabermetrics is goofy when actually being healthy and pitching in a good pitcher’s ballpark for the first time has a much stronger effect on his performance? That’s awful?

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