Giants To Extend Matt Cain

7:16pm: Shea hears that the sixth year option will not vest if Cain finishes the fifth year of the contract on the disabled list with an elbow or shoulder injury (Twitter link).

2:04pm: The Giants announced that they have agreed to a five-year extension with Matt Cain. Cain's deal guarantees him $112.5MM in new money through 2017, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The deal, which establishes a record for right-handed pitchers, includes a club/vesting player option for 2018. Landon Williams, Rick Landrum and Jeff Berry of CAA Sports represent Cain, who had been scheduled to hit free agency following the 2012 season.

“Ensuring that Matt remained a Giant beyond this season was a top priority for the organization," Giants GM Brian Sabean said via press release. "Matt is an integral part of the team whose performance on the mound will be one of the keys to our success for years to come.”

Cain has emerged as a frontline starter in recent years. The 27-year-old has completed 200 innings in five consecutive seasons, and has impressive career rate stats. He consistently outperforms his strong peripheral stats to post low ERAs. Most recently, he posted a 2.88 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 41.7% ground ball rate in 221 2/3 innings last year. 

The deal figures to affect at least two other ace pitchers: Tim Lincecum and Cole Hamels. Lincecum is on track for free agency following the 2013 season and Hamels will be eligible for free agency this winter. Should Hamels reach a deal with the Phillies, it will presumably mirror Cain's contract. Zack Greinke could also use Cain's deal as a reference point in talks with the Brewers.

If Cain had tested the market next offseason, teams such as the Dodgers and Yankees could have entered the bidding. Instead teams seeking pitching in free agency will turn their attention to the likes of Hamels, Greinke and Anibal Sanchez.

Today's deal breaks Kevin Brown's long-standing record for right-handed pitchers. Brown signed a seven-year, $105MM contract following the 1998 season.

Cain obtains a signing bonus of $5MM and his 2012 salary of $15MM remains unchanged, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). The right-hander will earn $20MM annually from 2013-17 and the deal includes a $21MM option with a $7.5MM buyout for 2018, according to Rosenthal. The 2018 option will vest if Cain is healthy in 2017, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Otherwise it becomes a club option. Cain has full no-trade protection, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio (Twitter link).

Luke Adams of MLBTR anticipated the terms of the upcoming extension with considerable accuracy in December. John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle first reported that the sides would agree to terms.


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144 Comments on "Giants To Extend Matt Cain"


TophersReds
3 years 5 months ago

Now I’m just waiting for the Votto extension to become official. I wonder how Magic is feeling about this.

55saveslives
3 years 5 months ago

 Even worse when Cole re-signs  lol

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

Can PHI afford much more than what Cain got? I’d pay Hamels more, but even if they did, think how much would be invested in the front 3 of their rotation. Great 3, but they can’t hit. Halladay is only getting older, blah blah blah.

BMiggy
3 years 5 months ago

alot of risk/reward with 3 20mill pitchers….

3 years 5 months ago

Rumored to be 5 years/$110 million

candlestick22
3 years 5 months ago

Great news…fair deal for both sides.

diesel2410
3 years 5 months ago

April Fools!!

Oh wait that was yesterday…

ARod's Ring
3 years 5 months ago

Does this means that Lincecum is going into the open market? Awesome!

baybombers
3 years 5 months ago

you can hope he does i guess?

schaddy24
3 years 5 months ago

If he does, the Cubs will be waiting with a blank check.

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

Just CHC? I’d think LAD would love to add to that rivalry by having Kershaw and Lincecum. Wow. What a 1-2 punch.

3 years 5 months ago

 Gross, dude.

Andrew Sapiro
3 years 5 months ago

AAV on this is a whopping “$22.5 million, biggest multiyear deal ever for a right-handed pitcher.” as per Henry Schulman 

chico65
3 years 5 months ago

That’ll buy a lot of relish

bonds2425
3 years 5 months ago

its 5MM signing bonus, 20MM per year for 5 years with a 22.5 6th year option or 7.5 buyout.

bonds2425
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah buddy!!

Paul Shailor
3 years 5 months ago

Coincidence you see Cain and potentially Votto both locked up right after the Dodgers got a new owner?

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 5 months ago

Coincidence?

Most likely. There’s 28 other teams that would go apenut to sign those guys, not excluding those teams who have tight budgets.

Tony DiQuattro
3 years 5 months ago

Since he was already scheduled to make $15m this year, it comes out to $22.5m AAV over 5 years, including the buyout if there is one.

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

20m+ was a hometown discount. He could have/would have gotten Sabathia type money on the open market. Now as for Lincecum? Have a feeling his hometown discount will equal Sabathia type money.

Lincecum will set a new bar for SP. Question is.. Will SF be able to meet those demands?

East Coast Bias
3 years 5 months ago

For real. Hitting the open market with a ring and 2 Cy Youngs. Ridiculous!

CAD_Monkey
3 years 5 months ago

Today is not a very good day for Dodger fans…

John B.
3 years 5 months ago

 No day is good to be a Dodger Fan.  Hope they are ready to pay $40 a game for bleacher seats to cover the 2+ billion dollar purchase :)

$24144853
3 years 5 months ago

I just bought my ticket. The tickets weren’t $40 for bleacher seats. Your right it wasnt fun being a Dodger fan for the last couple season. With our new ownership full of magic we now have the brightest future than any other team out there. Now every day is great day to be a Dodgers fan.

neoncactus
3 years 5 months ago

No, it’s a great day to be a Dodger fan.  You’re paying $22.5 million per year for Cain???  He’s a good pitcher, but $22.5 million??  Giants obviously haven’t learned anything from Zito contract.  What is Lincecum going to get if Cain is getting $22.5 million?  And if you do sign Lincecum at what he’ll get, then how can you afford to keep Sandoval and Posey when their salaries climb?  The Giants just ensured that either they stay with mediocre offense while their pitchers get older, or that in the end they will have chosen Cain over Lincecum.  So from that standpoint, it is a great day to be a Dodger fan!

giantsfan4life427
3 years 5 months ago

True, Zito was was a huge BUST and a waste of A LOT of cash the Giants could have spent for some offensive players, but Cain is younger than Zito, and the fact that Barry couldn’t pitch his way out of a wet paper sack with instructions inside, but Cain’s a 2-time All-Star in recent years, with a great ERA. The only thing that would make Cain one of the biggest ACES in MLB behind Lincecum, is the lack of run support.

giantsfan4life427
3 years 5 months ago

True that the Zito contract was a HUUUUUUUGE waste of good cash(and that might be the biggest understatement of this decade), when all that money could have gone to some offensive player(s). But Cain is younger than Zito, Cain is a 2-time All-Star over the last 3  years, Cain helped the Giants get to and capture the World Series while Zito was put on a 2-month “time out” by Bochy. The only thing that has kept Cain from being one of the ELITE pitchers in Baseball (although I would say he IS anyways) is the lack of run support behind him. So I’d say he’s worth EVERY PENNY of his contract, unlike that other guy.

neoncactus
3 years 5 months ago

Zito was, what, 28, when he signed his contract, and Cain is 27?  Zito was a 3 time All Star with the A’s.  I’m not comparing Cain to Zito right now, but the Zito before the Giants blew money on him.  Cain is a good pitcher, but he is not deserving to be the highest paid right handed pitcher in the game.  Like I said, I love the deal, because it either means the Giants offense continues to stink and fail to score runs for him, or they effectively choose Cain over Lincecum.   

3 years 5 months ago

*looks at calendar* One day too late, this must be real. Yikes

John B.
3 years 5 months ago

Good news for Padres fans!!  5 – 11 lifetime against the Pads. Nice!

BrocNessMonster
3 years 5 months ago

Anyways…

letsgogiants
3 years 5 months ago

Look at his ERA against them…3.43 ERA is pretty solid

3 years 5 months ago

 Padres opening day starter is Edison Volquez

Kurisu Rg
3 years 5 months ago

 Edinson

gmenfan
3 years 5 months ago

 That may be the ONLY good thing the Padres can cling to.

55saveslives
3 years 5 months ago

Sorry Dodger fans…too bad so sad…bye bye!!

$24144853
3 years 5 months ago

Sorry for what? We have a new owner that can get us all other free agents. Besides its not like getting Cain made your offense better. Cain lost a lot of games last year because the Giants couldnt score runs for him, and that hasnt chaged at all. Dodgers fans have been sad for to long so this doesnt really faze us at all. I just think its kinda funny how your team sings Matt Cain and you bring up Dodgers fan. Its good to know we are always on your mind.

Congrats on the sign Giants fans.

sojuboi
3 years 5 months ago

Of course the Dodgers are on Giants’ mind all the time. Historic rivalry. Not really a threat (right now and for awhile at least). Now the Dodgers have to lock up Kershaw for 30 million/year and the Giants’ fans will applaud the Dodgers.

nm344
3 years 5 months ago

I’ll be happy if Hamels signs for this much.  This is less than the Cliff Lee deal.

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

 Philly (and some other) fans may disagree, but I would have preferred Cain over Hamels as a FA. Granted, the outliers seem to point to Hamels.. Home park, lefty, control, even workload thus far in their respective careers points a tad in Hamels favor.. Just have this odd feeling that Cain will be one of those people who pitches forever, or years and years.

Cain has a large frame and body, where Hamels is much more slight in stature. Sometimes it makes a difference and for 2 of the top people (SP) who could have been available, both in the 20-25mAAV range it may have been worth factoring in.

1980CHAMPS
3 years 5 months ago

Hamels and Cain are the same height but Cain has about 30 pounds of fat on him.  

Cain has lost velocity over the years though and is right handed.  Lefties don’t typically peak until later in their careers unless their last name is Zito.

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

 Cain still throws 90’s and that “fat” is not exactly true as you know.. Thin railed power pitchers don’t have as long of a history of durability. I guess CC Sabathia needs to go on a diet also..

I have to wonder what Jon Lester would be worth should he be on the market as a 95mph+ throwing power lefty, with one of the nastiest cutters in the game at age 28 and 200IP each of the last 4 seasons after coming back from cancer.

6’3 and 240.. Nobody accuses him of being fat either, just like Cain…

gmenfan
3 years 5 months ago

 Uneducated hater much ?

MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

I’d take Hamels over Cain every time at even money.

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

 I always value your opinion on this board (and another place as well) is it because he is a lefty, or is it another reason(s)?

MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

More strike outs, less walks, more ground balls, same FIP, better xFIP, better SIERA, better FIP- and has pitched in a tougher division and smaller ballpark.

But more than all of that stuff, the real reason I would take him over Cain is that he has his success due to his change up (arguably the best in the game) while Cain’s success is due in large part to his fastball.  Guys don’t really lose their change up as they age, so Hamels is likely going to be very good for a very long time where Cain is going to lose velocity on his FB as he ages and will either have to find a new way to pitch or fade out young(er than Hamels).  Change ups also have no real platoon split unlike sliders (which Cain tends to throw).  In fact, everything Hamels throws is platoon neutral (aside from his normal fastball – which is the same for everyone); Cutter, Curveball, and Changeup are all platoon neutral.

WillieMaysField
3 years 5 months ago

 Cain has developed a change up.  It’s one of the reason his #s are getting better.

MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

There’s a huge difference between having a changeup and having the best changeup in the game and throwing it 25-30% of the time.  Cain throws either his fastball or slider more than 70% of the time and both of those pitches have massive platoon splits, which isn’t as bad for a right handed pitcher because 75ish% of hitters are also right handed, but it’s still not the same as having your success with platoon neutral pitches.

3 years 5 months ago

has anyone pitched more than cain’s 1271 innings over the last 6 years?  

nm344
3 years 5 months ago

6 people, including Broson Arroyo!  Halladay is #1 and has pitched 1414  innings in that time period.

3 years 5 months ago

 ha, never would have found arroyo.  i saw halladay, verlander, sabathia, haren, felix..good company

levendis
3 years 5 months ago

 If i had to chose between Cain or Lineculm for a long term contract it be Cain. Linceculm’s physique scares me for the future, dont know if he can hold up. But you look at Guidry and held up all right, gave the Yankees 200 innings from age 27- 35. So idk i guess you roll the dice if your the Giants. But do you really want to have two guys in your rotation making 20+ mill a year?

Reaper87
3 years 5 months ago

 Agree 100% about keeping Cain > keeping Timmy, but it’s not about health. Timmy has the Cy’s, but Cain is like the ringleader of the rotation. MadBum and him are practically joined at the hip, and everyone refers to Cain as the leader, elder-statesman (whatever you want to call it). He’s like a 2nd pitching coach, plus he’s been a model of consistency and dependability his whole career

levendis
3 years 5 months ago

i obviously dont follow the giants, i’ve never knew that, but thats great to here. an even better reason to sign him over Linceculm. Hopefully you can give the big man the run support he deserves! haha

Reaper87
3 years 5 months ago

 Yeah, the offense has a chance to be dismal again this year if some guys don’t step up. A lot of people have been ripping this deal but I like it (for the reasons I gave above), and now they gotta try to score a few runs for the guy. Here’s hoping they muster together even a passable offense haha

RepOak
3 years 5 months ago

Now if only they can find some hitters…

Jason_F
3 years 5 months ago

Meanwhile, the A’s posted an OPS last season a mere 0.009 points higher than the Giants with a DH in place of the pitcher.  Those in glass houses…

rainyperez
3 years 5 months ago

Now if only Oakland can find some fans…

RepOak
3 years 5 months ago

I’ll take 10,000 real fans than 35,000 bandwagon fans any day

bafaabojangles
3 years 5 months ago

HA!  All you need to do is look at playoff games:  The Giants sold out game 3 of the 97′ NLDS at Candlestick (57k).  The A’s, in a deciding game 5 vs. the Twins in 02′, drew 28k.  Fail.

sojuboi
3 years 5 months ago

So where do you get the number 35,000 for bandwagon fans? I think you forget there are so many loyal fans in the Bay Area. Of course if you are from Oakland, you should know that.

LazerTown
3 years 5 months ago

bandwagon fans buy tickets too.  Even if they aren’t real teams they help the team keep higher payroll and would help keep them in oakland.  Every team has real fans and ones that bandwagon.

55saveslives
3 years 5 months ago

 Off topic….I hope you’re safe and not near that school shooting!

candlestick22
3 years 5 months ago

Giants lock up Cain. A’s lock up another killer bulk deal on tarps.

RepOak
3 years 5 months ago

Sounds like you really thought about that, try harder next time

candlestick22
3 years 5 months ago

Tsk, tsk. Such a bad look when the troll gets upset. See that gem that you started out with above? Try harder next time.

3 years 5 months ago

Good deal in that it’s only 5 years.

3 years 5 months ago

It is 6 years.

LazerTown
3 years 5 months ago

5 years and a club option.  2012 contract is unchanged.

Yankees420
3 years 5 months ago

It’s only a club option if Cain is not healthy in 2017, otherwise it becomes guaranteed.  Not a bad way of insuring the 6th year though, Yankees did virtually the same thing with C.C.’s new contract.   

LazerTown
3 years 5 months ago

yes, but the biggest reason that you wouldn’t want to keep him around for that age 34? season is if he is injured.  It protects the team from risk somewhat.  As long as he doesn’t pull a zito, which i doubt because he has more talent.  zito never had a real fb?

Yankees420
3 years 5 months ago

I understand the reason behind it, I was just pointing out that it isn’t a straight up club option.

LazerTown
3 years 5 months ago

Yea, it works out for both sides, he gets to be a free agent when he is 33, so he could still lock up a decent deal for 4-5 years if still healthy.  The giants dont have to lock themselves up for a long time and be stuck with a player that could be unhealthy.

3 years 5 months ago

Learned their lesson on Zito, I guess.

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

 Zitto was losing his “zippo” on his FB even before he signed the contract with the SFG, not the case here. Cain IMO hasn’t even fully reached his potential.

Yankees420
3 years 5 months ago

Not to compare Zito and Cain, because I don’t think Cain will fall off a cliff anytime soon, but Cain has technically lost almost 2 MPH off his fastball since ’07 and 2009 was the only year in which his velocity was not down from the year before. 

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

 That is kind of normal for many pitchers who once threw over 95. Not all of course and realize am bringing up Lester again, but Lester (after he finally got over the effects of cancer) was up to 97mph in 09-10, but was back to 95 and *maybe* 96 tops last year. As some of these innings people, who throw a lot age, they do lose 1-2mph, though yes.. Zitto lost 3-4mph as recall at Oakland and was think barely hitting 90.

The larger framed SP (to me) seem to be able to just “hang on” to their maximum speed and able to throw their best arsenal for a longer period. True, it’s not all and their are exceptions. Bobby Veale hurt his arm and was a “man”ster for the Pirates way back, he was said to throw up towards the 100mph range with regularity, but didn’t last but 7 years. Carlton was not that bulked up, but lasted seemingly forever, same with Jimmy Kaat.

Yankees420
3 years 5 months ago

 Right, a couple of MPH isn’t that big of a deal, the only thing is that he averaged 91.2 last year on his FB, and if (and I think it’s a big if) the trend of losing velocity continues, he doesn’t have that much more wiggle room, so to speak.  Again, I don’t think Cain will become ineffective anytime soon, and I like this deal a lot for the Giants. 

LazerTown
3 years 5 months ago

Way different than zito, cain has a much better fastball.  Zito’s last 3 years in oakland he had a 3.80 era in every season or higher.  That is decent, but was not deserving of ace-like money.

Jason_F
3 years 5 months ago

Comparing Zito to Cain with respect to their performance leading up to their respective contracts in disingenuous.  Either that, or you don’t really know how to properly value their stats and age leading up to the contracts.

rainyperez
3 years 5 months ago

Cain asked if he thought about pitching for Dodgers: “I did not seriously think so. The truth is, I don’t have to. I’m excited about it.”