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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