I went to the 2014 World Series Film premiere at the Castro Theatre last week. I meant to write about it, and I still might. But one of the points I was going to make was that Travis Ishikawa was the player representative. He was the one who brought the third trophy out to raucous cheers. He was the one upstairs taking awkward-yet-earnest photos with eager fans. He was the one who gave a 10-minute speech before the movie started. And I thought, dang, it would be cooooold-blooded to non-tender this guy.
The Giants did tender Ishikawa a contract. He's not an especially great fit on the Giants' roster -- he's left-handed, which means it's pointless to help him rest Brandon Belt against tough lefties, and he's not much of an outfielder, he whispered while giggling and caressing a 2014 WORLD CHAMPIONS Christmas ornament. The A's just non-tendered Kyle Blanks, and he makes far more sense for the current roster, as he can play first and left when healthy, and he's literally the strongest man on the planet. Literally the strongest. Take it up with him if you don't believe me. Literally.
Still, the Giants made a sentimental move, and he'll make something close to a million dollars next year, even if he doesn't make the active roster. To be fair, Ishikawa still belongs on a major league roster. Just not necessarily the one with a left-handed first baseman and a right-handed catcher who moonlights at first when he needs quasi-rest. We're talking about the backup first baseman and emergency outfielder, though, so it's not like this is worth rattling sabers over. Also, he's a gosh-dang hero. Say, I have a video for you ...
In the expected news, the Giants tendered contracts to Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Yusmeiro Petit, Hector Sanchez, and Gregor Blanco. The Giants historically avoid the nasty arbitration process, so there are one-year contracts likely coming soon for everyone. Belt and Sanchez are poor candidates for extensions, considering their disappointing, injury-marred years.
I could see an extension for Crawford, though, who doesn't become a free agent until after the 2017 season. Give him some guaranteed money, buy a couple of free agent years, worry less about an expensive, mid-30s Crawford. Alright, I'll start the bandwagon ...
Blanco still has two more years of arbitration left, and he'll almost certainly be too expensive for the Giants to tender next year, so I could see a two-year deal for him before arbitration. Reaching free agency has to be tempting for him, though.
While Petit deserves a seven-year extension for Game 2 of the NLDS alone, he was still pitching in that game as of press time. Regardless, he still has another year of arbitration eligibility after this one.
There was some speculation from Henry Schulman on Twitter about Blanco being a non-tender candidate, seeing as he's certainly on the pricey side for a fourth outfielder. Considering the Giants' lack of a starting left fielder right now and the inability of Angel Pagan to stay healthy, there was absolutely no way they could let him go, though. To save a million bucks, they would be a fickle free agent market and sproingy vertebrae away from Juan Perez and Gary Brown sharing outfield duties until the trade deadline. Gulp.
Everyone's coming back! That will make the odd year fly by, and it will give time to Kurt Ainsworth to get in shape in time for 2016.