I'm in the middle of a different screed. Someone asked for a screed, but they're getting a different screed. The suggested screed was to be about the Giants being "cheap," which they aren't. The actual screed is about staying away from too many nonsense contracts.
The Seattle Mariners signed Robinson Cano to a nonsense contract -- 10 years, $240 million. That's almost two Zitos. That's almost Hunter Pence and Buster Posey combined, except Cano is a 31-year-old second baseman who will age like an avocado slice.
I dug up a list here of the best second basemen after age 31. If you set the bar fairly low, there still aren't a lot of second basemen who stick around in their 30s. Imagine Roberto Alomar getting this deal. He had two good years after 31, and then he disintegrated.
But you know what? The Mariners have almost zero future obligations other than Cano and Felix Hernandez. They have a lineup, rotation, and farm filled with players who won't get expensive for four, five, or six years. If there's a team that can futz around with this horrible contract, it's a team that's set up like that.
Now, no one was clamoring for the Giants to sign Cano, so this is a semi-strawman. But you can see why the Giants are staying away from these big names. Shin-Soo Choo is going to sign for a ton. Masahiro Tanaka (sweet prince) is going to sign for a ton if he's posted. The Giants already have their nonsense contracts -- Posey, Pence, and to a lesser extent, Cain -- so they're out of the VIP area until further notice. They've already made their choices.
And, for the most part, I like those choices. I like Cain at four years and $87.5 million more than Matt Garza at five years, $100 million. I like Posey at $167 million over Cano at $240 million. I like Pence at $90 million more than Granderson at $60 million, and I certainly like him more than what Ellsbury got. I even like Lincecum's contract over Scott Feldman's, if you want some serious rose-colored glasses.
I like the Giants' nonsense contracts because they make sense. It's a paradox! And I'm glad they aren't messing around with players like Robinson Cano. Because if you thought the budgeting was bad with Barry Zito gumming up the works, man, Cano would have been the built-in excuses to end all built-in excuses.
Ten years. $240 million. And from a team that's watched the ghost of Albert Pujols rattle his chains in their stadium for the last two years. Glad the Giants were never even close to the scene.