The Continuing Saga of Matt Cain

Matt Cain update from Jon Heyman:

regarding the chances matt cain signs for less than $100M, 1 person familiar with the case said, "No shot''

Well, that's not promising. I figured that Cain would come in around $90 to $95 million, so what's a few more million between friends? Still I think the idea of a hometown discount has been pretty much debunked, unless the Giants are willing to pack up and move the franchise to Tennessee.

Still, this is just one report.

Reports on Matt Cain
Person familiar with the case "No shot"
Person with knowledge of the situation "Matt Cain could still sign with the Giants"
Person with knowledge of the organization's thinking "That whole front office gets online by using AOL free-trial CDs. I've never seen anything like it. They have stacks of them."
A rival executive "Glad we don't have to deal with that crap."
Another rival executive "I could probably get both Cain and Hamels before the owners figured out what happened, and then I can flee to Mexico and change my name to Ruben Amaro … IV. Yes, yes, that will do."
Matt Cain "Suppose I can stop buying the Safeway-brand Cheerios now."
According to several scouts "Matt Cain is good."
Mystery Team "'Campfire's warm, at least to three/The reaper's scythe it appears to me/Two gold caterpillars walk a silver leaf/One test of mettle, what metal can be.' Solve this riddle and you will find the antidote. Fail to solve the riddle, and Cain signs with the Royals. Do not doubt the Mystery Team. Your time starts … now."

So it's all very much in the air. There's no way to know what's going on with the negotiations -- if the two sides are $5 million apart, or if they're $30 million and two years apart -- so I'm going to hold of on being too critical of the team just yet. But it's amazing how they seemingly set off their own booby trap. All winter it was "Money's going toward our efforts to keep the pitching intact. Money's going toward our efforts to keep the pitching intact," but then they had to sit down with Cain's agent and say something like, "Well, we just didn't budget a lot for pitching, so let's exchange some numbers."

The Giants are surely motivated, and I believe that Cain wants to stay. The park's a perfect fit for him, even if the offense ... isn't. But once it gets into the regular season, the temptation to just hang on and test the market will get stronger and stronger. And if he actually makes it to free agency, he might learn that there are teams that regularly score three, four, and even five runs per game.

In order to avoid a complete public-relations disaster if they lose Cain, the Giants would sign another free agent. But if they couldn't afford Cain, the odds are low that they'd afford Cole Hamels or Zack Greinke. That leaves Brandon McCarthy, Anibal Sanchez, Colby Lewis ... you can smell the five-year deal to Edwin Jackson from here.

And there's a decent chance that the Giants would be much better off giving guys Brandon McCarthy and Colby Lewis a quarter of what they're thinking of giving Cain and Tim Lincecum, but that sort of talk is for the Vulcans. If you think that, you can hang out here for a while and soak in what you're really suggesting. I'm in raging fanboy mode, and both need to stay. Figure out the rest of the roster around them. If you can build a championship team around Zito and Rowand ...

Still predicting that a deal gets done before Opening Day. I'll adjust it upwards, though. Six years, $107 million. We're starting to get into uncomfortable territory with this contract. Counterpoint: Matt Cain.

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