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Giants will likely decline Ryan Vogelsong's option

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There still might be room for Ryan Vogelsong on the Giants, but there's also a chance he's not going to be on the 2014 roster. Andrew Baggarly reports the Giants will decline Vogelsong's $6.5 million option for next year, buying it out instead for $300,000.

There was a point where Ryan Vogelsong's $6.5 million option for 2014 was a given. It was like the Giants offering arbitration to Brandon Belt or declining Barry Zito's 2014 option -- you didn't even need to think about it. Vogelsong started 2012 with 21 straight starts of six innings or more. Nineteen of those were quality starts, and 15 were seven innings or more. At the July 31 deadline, Vogelsong's ERA was 2.22.

At that point, you looked at the $6.5 million option and giggled. It was a roster-building coup. Of course the Giants were going to keep Angry Greg Maddux around for that kind of money. Unless, what, he disappeared as quickly as he arrived?

Poof. Boy, it sure turned uncomfortable quickly.

There were flashes. He pitched eight innings of two-hit, shutout ball against the Pirates. That came a start after he shut down the team that eventually won the World Series, too.

But he never looked quite as sharp as the previous two seasons, and he'll be 37 next year. His strikeout rate, which was never exactly impressive, disappeared after he returned from his hand injury. He didn't look like a $6.5 million pitcher, no matter how glass-half-full you got.

The Giants are still interested, though. As they should be. We aren't that far removed from Angry Greg Maddux, and of all the players worth gambling on for a fifth-slot battle, this guy already has posters and baubles in the dugout store. Lock him in a rancor pit with Yusmeiro Petit and see who comes out the other side. Which is where Masahiro Tanaka is waiting with a bouquet and strips of raw meat for the winner. Please.

I'm guessing he's back. It's hard to see another team guaranteeing him a rotation spot, so if he's going to battle for a slot, it might as well be with the team with the history and adoring fans.

If not, it's going to be weird. Understandable. Sad. Logical. There will be mixed emotions because of the incredible, out-of-nowhere success he had in 2011 and 2012 and the painful 2013. The latter probably means more when building a roster. The former is still hard to ignore.