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The Future of the Giants' Payroll

The Pablo contract helps us look into the future. Please spit out any pistachios you might have in your mouth when you remember the $7 million buyout for Zito and the part about Rowand. This site can't be responsible for lawsuits:

Age Contract Status 2012 2013 2014
Barry Zito 33 7 yrs/$126M (07-13) & 14 team option $19M $20M $7M [FA-*]
Ryan Vogelsong 33 2 yrs/$8.3M (12-13) & 14 team option $3M $5M $300k [FA-*]
Pablo Sandoval 24 1 yr/$500k (11) $3.2M $5.7M $8.25M
Sergio Romo 28 1 yr/$450k (11) Arb-1 Arb-2 Arb-3
Buster Posey 24 1 yr/$575k (11) Pre-Arb-2 Arb-1 Arb-2
Madison Bumgarner 21 1 yr/$450k (11) Pre-Arb-2 Pre-Arb-3 Arb-1
Dan Runzler 26 1 yr/$419k (11) Pre-Arb-2 Pre-Arb-3 Arb-1
Nate Schierholtz 27 1 yr/$433k (11),1 yr/$1.3M (12) $1.3M Arb-2 Arb-3
Eli Whiteside 31 1 yr/$425k (11),1 yr/$600k (12) $600k Arb Arb
Brandon Belt 23 1 yr/$414k (11) Pre-Arb Pre-Arb-2 Pre-Arb-3
Tim Lincecum 27 2 yrs/$23M (10-11) Arb-3 Arb-4 FA
Brian Wilson 29 2 yrs/$15M (11-12) $8.5M Arb FA
Santiago Casilla 31 1 yr/$1.3M (11),1 yr/$2.2M (12) $2.2M Arb FA
Mike Fontenot 31 1 yr/$1.05M (11),1 yr/$1.05M (12) $1.05M Arb FA
Matt Cain 26 3 yrs/$27.25M (10-12) $15M FA
Aubrey Huff 34 2 yrs/$22M (11-12) & 13 team option $10M $2M [FA-*]
Freddy Sanchez 33 2 yrs/$12M (10-11),1 yr/$6M (12) $6M FA
Jeremy Affeldt 32 3 yrs/$14M (10-12) $5M FA
Melky Cabrera 26 1 yr/$6M (12) $6M FA
Angel Pagan 29 1 yr/$4.85M (12) $4.85M FA
Javier Lopez 33 1 yr/$2.38M (11) FA
Guillermo Mota 37 1 yr/$925k (11),1 yr/$1M (12) $1M FA
Aaron Rowand $11.52M
Provided by View Original Table Generated 1/18/2012.

Them's the cold numbers. But look closer. Enhance!

Pablo Sandoval
Sergio Romo
Buster Posey
Madison Bumgarner
Brandon Belt

Estimated total salary: $21 million or so, though there's a possibility that Belt could hit .428 over the next three years and become a Super Two.

Five players. $21 million. If the Giants' payroll doesn't increase, that gives them $110 million to fill out the roster with 20 more players.

But the Giants' payroll will probably increase. Since the new park opened, it's increased an average of $6.3 million per year. In just 2009, the total payroll was $82 million. That's including Barry Zito and everything. It's up almost $50 million since then. So when you think of the Giants being cheap, remember that they're not so much cheap as we are newly spoiled.

Still would like to have seen Beltran back, though, in case I've been too vague and wishy-washy on that subject.

This is what the offseason of nothing has set up. For all of the jokes about rainy day funds, the Giants won't have a lot of future payroll commitments in 2014. Nothing like they have had, at least. And if they extend Cain and Lincecum, they'll still have money to play with. If they sign Cain? That leaves about $90 million left for 19 players. Lincecum extension? Now we're at $65 million, at least for 18 players.

Factor in some help from the farm -- Gary Brown making the minimum would be quite helpful, as would Brandon Crawford developing into a useful player -- and the Giants' plan starts to crystallize. You can see how a $15 million Jimmy Rollins hobbling around would make a difference, even if he'd help the Giants win right now.

My biggest problem with the strategy is that I don't trust the guy in charge of the expense account to not fritter away a few million on a Jeremy Affeldt here, and a few million on a Willie Bloomquist there. Everyone likes to laugh at the Vlad quote, but it's not that funny. It's a serious organizational philosophy. Aw, heck, one more time:

If we had signed Guerrero or [Gary] Sheffield, we would have been without [Jim] Brower, [Scott] Eyre, [Matt] Herges, [Dustin] Hermanson, [Brett] Tomko, [A.J.] Pierzynski, [Pedro] Feliz, [J.T.] Snow, [Jeffrey] Hammonds, [Dustan] Mohr and [Michael] Tucker--obviously not being able to field a competitive team, especially from an experience standpoint, given our level of spending.

That's a quote from a serious person. I'd wager that Sabean would stand by that quote even today. Spreading the money around has always been a favorite strategy of his. If the Giants lock up Cain and Lincecum, they'll still have some money to spread around in a couple of years. And that sort of scares me.

But the Pablo deal made me look at the Giants' future payroll, and that's not a bad thing. They'll need help from the minors, and they'll need to stop being stupid with their money, but they already have Brandon Belt, Madison Bumgarner, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey, and Sergio Romo making up 20 percent of the roster at what should be below-market rates. Even if they give out huge deals to Cain and Lincecum, they'll still have some flexibility.