Angel Pagan

Reviewing the flurry of San Francisco Giants arbitration moves

I’ve been all about football lately, so the other two teams I cover “full-time” (the Giants and the Warriors, who beat the Cavs tonight) have been getting short shrift since I left my voice at Candlestick Park on Saturday.

I didn’t mention the Giants extending Ryan Vogelsong for two years (congrats to Ryan — hopefully he can continue in his role as one of the best 4th starters in baseball), but in the past day the Giants have made a good portion of their arbitration-eligible players officially a part of their 2012 roster … with one notable long-haired exception.

Busy day for the San Francisco Giants, Brian Sabean and Dave Groeschner (who had to give a ton of physicals). Here’s a look at the players involved and where they stand:

Tim Lincecum (???): Lincecum requested $21.5 million, the Giants countered with $17 million. Have to imagine they’ll probably agree to something like a 1-year, $19.5 million deal or 2 years at $40 million to take him through arbitration. I’d love to see the Giants sign Lincecum to a 3-year, $60 million deal (or 4-yr/$80M, but didn’t the Giants already offer that?), but Lincecum’s looking forward to testing the market and that’s probably going to happen.

Pablo Sandoval (3 years: $17.15 million): The only noteworthy thing about the Giants buying up Sandoval’s remaining three arbitration years (besides that he’ll be making $3.5M in 2012, $5.7M in 2013, and $8.25 in 2014) is that the Giants seem to believe that Sandoval will remain in decent shape and continue putting up huge numbers (otherwise they’d let Sandoval go year-by-year). Also, Sandoval apparently asked the Giants to allow him to play in Venezuela during future winters.

Angel Pagan (1 year: $4.85 million): the only thing to say about this is with Pagan’s reputation as kind of a malcontent, it’s good that the Giants didn’t insult him before he even walked through the clubhouse door in an arbitration hearing.

Melky Cabrera (1 year: $6 million): Huge raise for Cabrera, who made $1.5 million last year with the Royals. Is he half the player Carlos Beltran is? If they’re both healthy, probably.

Santiago Casilla (1 year: $2.2 million): A smaller (but still nice) raise, as Casilla made $1.3 million last year. This was a no-brainer, since Casilla performed well as a fill-in closer in 2011 and Brian Wilson’s elbow is a HUGE question mark. His style almost seems too exciting sometimes and his walk rate’s a little high, but Casilla’s only given up 73 hits and 3 HR in 107 innings with the Giants over the last two seasons.

Nate Schierholtz (1 year: $1.3 million): This deal also includes about $150K in incentives, which isn’t all that much. Then again, with Pagan and Cabrera taking up two outfield spots and Aubrey Huff, Brandon Belt, Brett Pill and Buster Posey all possible first basemen (with Huff and Belt looking to play in the OF some as well), will Schierholtz get enough playing time to reach even those incentives?

In other news, Sergio Romo tweeted that he’s heading to San Francisco, which led Baggs to think he’ll be undergoing a physical and signing a contract as well. Also, the Giants brought up Gregor Blanco, a possible 5th-OF type whose 27 and has shown the ability to play CF and get on base. Still no word recently on Matt Cain, who’s set to make $15 million in 2012, his last season before he’s eligible for free agency.

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