Hot off Sabean's failure to sign Timmy to a long term extension, he has to deal with Cain. The Giants in essence refused a Zimmerman deal for Timmy. Tim wanted 8 years, which is what Zimmerman is effectively tied up for. They settled on 2. It's too late for Cain since he's only 1 year away. Panda's signed a contract through his arb years, and Buster will hit arb soon. So the question is, would you do a Zimmerman deal for Panda? For Buster? MadBum? Belt?
Zimmerman is two years from FA. He signed a 6 year extension today that begins his first year of FA for $100M. He'd have to average over 3 WAR per season to make this worth it, and has averaged just a hair less than 5 WAR per season.
Overall, contracts like this have been worth it according to Fangraphs:
Utilizing all contracts of players with at least six years service time from 2007 to 2011, I searched for deals that were signed at least two years before the player was eligible for free agency and that bought out at least three free agency years. ...
Overall, the cost per WAR for these deals — after making my standard adjustments for draft-pick compensation — was just $3.63 million each. All other contracts during this time cost $5.53 million per WAR. On average, that amounts to a 34% discount for teams willing to sign a player a couple years in advance. Even if we look only at extensions that were signed later — since re-signed players usually outperform free agents from other teams — they cost $5.25 million per WAR, which turns these big extensions into 31% discounts.
What do you think the Giants should do?