In 2007, the San Francisco Giants scored the best pitcher on the free-agent market for a gaudy nine-figure sum. That contract prevented the Giants from chasing premier offensive threats during a time of offensive ineptitude in San Francisco. In 2010, the Giants left their nine-figure pitcher off the playoff roster and won the World Series. Go figure.
Last week, the Giants locked in the local fan favorite to a gaudy nine-figure sum. Regardless of what you think of the Matt Cain deal, it's impact will be felt for years to come. As with Barry Zito, the most exciting part of the contract will be measuring its impact in every big move the Giants make between now and 2017.
It's still way to early to predict the future. But we can do it anyways. Here are a few players who will feel the effects of this contract in years to come.