The Giants signed Mark Melancon, saw their shadow, and returned to hibernate for another four months. It the place of an active offseason, we have ruminations on the opportunities that Matt Cain’s contract cost the team. That and 458 different articles about Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker. Get used to it.
However, slow is not bad. Slow can be a blessing. The best blessing. This is the 2016-2017 offseason, which means that the players with more than six years of service time are free agents if they didn’t previously agree to an extension.
So the rookies from 2010, assuming they weren’t on the roster starting on Opening Day. Let’s see ... rookies from 2010 who weren’t on the Opening Day roster ... rookies from 2010 who weren’t on the Opening Day roster ... hold on, don’t tell me, it’ll come to me ...
Oh. Oh, right. Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner. They’re slightly important to the team’s plans in 2016. And this is what the ol’ site would look like without those extensions:
Madison Bumgarner, Giants ‘several hundred million apart’
Buster Posey: ‘Not sure why I would agree to any contract that doesn’t include a talking rabbit that solves mysteries.”
Bumgarner, Posey to start own league, not invite Clayton Kershaw
This would have been the offseason of doom. And all it would have taken is for them to have agents, if not the same agent, telling them to bet on themselves. Or it might have taken the it-can’t-happen-to-me arrogance that 20-somethings are often made from. There were a lot of ways Posey and Bumgarner could have both been free agents.
Instead, they’re under contract for a while. Posey is under contract for five years, $110 million (with a team option after that), and assuming that Bumgarner’s options are picked up, he’s under contract for three years, $35.5 million. So don’t get too grumpy about the Cain extension — teams take these risks for a reason.
What would they get as free agents, other than the moon bases? Posey will be 30 next year, and I’m pretty sure that teams would be wary of giving any catcher longer than a five-year deal at his age. Yet teams don’t get to pay free agents what they want to pay them. They get to that point, and then the free agent gets to add a couple years or extra millions because they have the leverage. I’ll guess six years, $190 million for Posey, with the team fully away that the last year was going to be a disaster.
As for Bumgarner, you have to remember that not only would he get a lot of money in any offseason, but that this offseason is a pitching wasteland. There’s no way he or his agent could have predicted that, but he would have melted the offseason down and used it to make a statue of himself. I’ll guess seven years, $220 million, which would set records. Oh, and there would be an opt-out. Everyone has an opt-out. That’s what they do these days, these players, they opt out.
You can fidget with the numbers as you see fit, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable that if the Giants wanted to keep Posey and Bumgarner around, they would have needed an extra $200 million to $250 million.
That probably would have meant no Johnny Cueto, while we’re at it. The Giants would have been too worried about the overages on the moon base spending. No Samardzija, either. The rotation would have been Cain, Blach, and Tyler Beede next season. Unless they couldn’t sign Bumgarner, in which case they probably would shell some money out for Jason Hammel.
Maybe Ivan Nova.
Man, this is getting dark.
As is, the Giants spent to keep the faces of the franchise here for a long time, and they did it early, just as salaries were really starting to skyrocket. They took a whole bunch of risk — Bumgarner was just two years away from a mystery velocity sink, and Posey was just a season removed from catastrophe — but they got a whole bunch of reward. And they weren’t the only winners. You know who else won? You. You’re also the big winner in this, you little scamp. You’re also a winner.
Also, the players who became millionaires and can support their families for generations and have really nice cars at the same time. They also won.
This is a sleepy, tired offseason. Hey, it’s bad for business around here, I get it. But it could have been hectic in all the worst ways. Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey could have been free agents. Say, the Nationals were looking for a new battery this winter.
The Dodgers can always use more pitching.
This is a case of being thankful for what you have, and I sure am. Because the idea of what we might have lost is just too much to think about. Bless you, quiet offseason. Bless you.