clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Giants sign Travis Ishikawa to one year, $1.1 million deal

New, comments

It's basically a bonus for services rendered, and it's a bargain.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

There was some speculation that the Giants wouldn't tender a contract to Travis Ishikawa. He's an imperfect fit on the Giants bench, as currently constructed, and MLB Trade Rumors estimated that he was going to get about $900,000 in arbitration. The Giants tendered him a contract, though, which was a solid karmic move. Even if he didn't make the roster, he would still get guaranteed money as he searched for a better fit.

Except the Giants pounced on a new deal. They didn't want to mess with arbitration, and they signed Travis Ishikawa to a one year, $1.1 million contract on Thursday. It's only $200,000 more than expected, but the timing and the amount allow me to speculate on something surprising: The Giants are really planning on keeping Ishikawa on the 2015 bench.

Before we go on, a video:

No, no, stupid, the other video.

"Travis Ishikawa ... HITS ONE INTO RIGHT! THE GIANTS ... HAVE WON THE PENNANT!

One year, $1.1 million.

"Travis Ishikawa ... HITS ONE INTO RIGHT! THE GIANTS ... HAVE WON THE PENNANT!

Two years, $10 million.

"Travis Ishikawa ... HITS ONE INTO RIGHT! THE GIANTS ... HAVE WON THE PENNANT!

Okay, fine. Five years, $95 million with a team option.

Maybe the Giants got off easy.

Let's inspect the Giants' bench plans. Andrew Susac is a lock, apparently, and I'd be surprised if Matt Duffy didn't reprise his role as a utility guy. Joaquin Arias has guaranteed cash, and there will need to be a backup center fielder if Gregor Blanco isn't on the bench.

That means Ishikawa is the first lefty off the bench, the power hitter sent up against the right-handed closer with two on and a three-run deficit.

Upon closer inspection, I'm okay with that. While I kept harping on the fact that Brandon Belt is a lefty, so he should have a righty behind him, it's not like the Giants are going to platoon him. And on the days Belt sits, Buster Posey was going to play first, anyway. They had a little freedom with their backup first baseman, then.

Is he the best possible fit? Dunno. Steamer doesn't hate him, and it's not like the Giants were going to find Matt Stairs in his prime to come off the bench. He has a little power, which is the primary qualification for the role, and he'll get standing ovations for the first month or two. It's possible there was a better fit -- still a fan of my Ryan Doumit idea, which would allow Susac to pinch-hit more -- but we're arguing about which Mad About You episode was the 34th best at this point. It's not worth it on so many levels.

Travis Ishikawa hit a million-dollar dinger, everyone. Good for him. Good for us. Good for everybody! Everybody except the Cardinals, which we're all okay with.