San Francisco Giants Offseason Tracker: Latest Trade Rumors, Free Agency News

Ian CasselberryMLB Lead WriterOctober 31, 2012

San Francisco Giants Offseason Tracker: Latest Trade Rumors, Free Agency News

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    The San Francisco Giants will enjoy their offseason more than the other 29 teams in MLB after winning their second World Series in three years.

    But after the celebration winds down, general manager Brian Sabean will try to keep the core of a championship team intact while adding key pieces that could help the Giants return to the World Series again next season. Could San Francisco make a splash in free agency or add complementary pieces?

    There will be plenty of news and rumors to follow through the winter. But we'll help you keep track of the latest rumblings in addition to providing reaction and analysis.

    To stay updated on the latest Giants offseason moves, keep checking back here for the newest information. Just click over to the first slide and you'll find the most recent hot stove buzz. 

Giants Avoid Arbitration with Hunter Pence

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    Posted: Friday, Jan. 18 at 2:00 p.m. ET

    With one more season of arbitration eligibility, Hunter Pence was going to be the San Francisco Giants' right fielder in 2013. The only question was how much his salary would be.

    Pence and the Giants agreed to a one-year, $13.8 million deal, avoiding arbitration. Friday (Jan. 18) was the deadline for teams and players to reach agreements before having to submit contract figures for arbitration hearings. 

    Despite a somewhat down year, Pence still got a raise. Last year, Pence made $10.7 million, agreeing on that figure with the Philadelphia Phillies to avoid arbitration. 

    Overall, Pence batted .253 with a .743 OPS in 688 plate appearances between the Phillies and Giants. He also hit 24 home runs with 104 RBI. With San Francisco, Pence hit .219 with a .671 OPS, seven homers and 45 RBI in 248 PAs.

    Considering the Giants traded Double-A Catcher Tommy Joseph and Single-A pitcher Seth Rosin (along with Nate Schierholtz) to get Pence, general manager Brian Sabean probably wants to hold on to Pence with a long-term deal. 

    Yet after Pence's 2012 performance, San Francisco might want to wait to see if Pence can provide improved performance before committing to a multi-year contract with him. 

Could Giants Re-Sign Tim Lincecum to New Contract?

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    Posted: Friday, Jan. 18 at 9:00 a.m. ET

    Tim Lincecum is set to become a free agent after the 2013 season, during which he'll be paid $22 million. 

    The general belief seems to be that Lincecum will definitely test the free-agent market. The Giants appeared willing to let Lincecum go too. Not only is his price tag likely to increase, but the 28-year-old is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer.

    Yet according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman, the Giants are still hoping to sign Lincecum to a long-term contract. Lincecum's last two deals with San Francisco have been two-year agreements. 

    Schulman also tweeted that the desire to re-sign Lincecum played a factor in what sorts of contracts were offered to other players on the roster. That could also be a reason why the Giants didn't pursue top free agents like Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn. 

    Last year, Lincecum finished with a 10-18 record and 5.18 ERA in 33 starts. While he still had a high strikeout rate, punching out 9.2 batters per nine innings, Lincecum averaged more walks (4.4) and hits (8.9) per game than in his previous five MLB seasons. 

Giants Preparing to Talk Contract Extension with Buster Posey

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    Posted: Thursday, January 17 at 9:00 p.m. ET

    Now that San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean has his primary offseason business of re-signing Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro and Jeremy Affeldt out of the way, he can now look further ahead in the future.

    National League MVP Buster Posey is going to be a key part of that future and the Giants would like to lock their catcher down to a long-term contract extension.

    According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman, the team is preparing to begin discussions on a deal with Posey's agent this spring. Posey doesn't become a free agent until after the 2017 season as he's accumulated enough service time to earn four seasons of arbitration eligibility.

    That leaves the Giants with plenty of time to work out a new contract. But the team would presumably like to buy out his next two to three arbitration seasons to save some money over the long term. 

    With a Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in his trophy case, along with winning an NL batting title last season, Posey should earn a hefty raise over the $615,000 he earned in 2012. MLB Trade Rumors' Matt Swartz projects a $5.9 million salary for Posey through the arbitration process. 


Giants Take Chance on Scott Proctor

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    Posted: Friday, Jan. 4 at 9:00 a.m. ET

    The San Francisco Giants could use one more right-handed arm in their bullpen if Brian Wilson doesn't come back. General manager Brian Sabean is giving a veteran reliever a shot at winning that job in spring training.

    San Francisco signed Scott Proctor to a minor league deal on Thursday (Jan. 3), according to MLB.com's Chris Haft. The 36-year-old right-hander last pitched in 2011, appearing with the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees. He pitched in Korea in 2012. 

    Proctor was at his most productive in 2006 and 2007, making 83 appearances in each of those seasons.

    That workload surely took its toll, as Proctor was never quite as effective in subsequent years. As could be expected, he required reconstructive surgery on his right elbow and missed all of the 2009 season. 

    For his career, Proctor compiled a 4.78 ERA in 307 appearances over seven MLB seasons. He has a strikeout rate of 7.6 batters per nine innings, while issuing 4.4 walks for every nine frames. 

Giants Agree to Three-Year Contract with Santiago Casilla

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    Posted: Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 10:30 a.m. ET

    San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean continues to do all he can to keep his championship team together.

    A key part of the Giants' success has been their bullpen and Sabean has made sure one of his top reliever sticks around for a while. (Cue the sad trombone for Brian Wilson, who's still looking for some love out on the free-agent market.)

    According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman, the Giants and Santiago Casilla have agreed on a three-year contract with a vesting club option for a fourth year. 

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal followed up with a tweet saying the deal was for $15 million. The deal covers Casilla's final year of arbitration next season. However, Casilla won't necessarily get a straight $5 million per season, tweets CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly. The fourth-year option includes a buyout if the Giants don't pick it up. 

    This year, Casilla compiled a 2.84 ERA in 73 appearances for the Giants. He struck out 55 batters in 63.1 innings. Casilla also earned 25 saves, taking over the closer role after Wilson got hurt. However, Sergio Romo asserted himself as San Francisco's closer by the end of the season and into the playoffs. 

Giants and Brian Wilson Not Close to a Deal

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    Posted: Thursday, Dec. 13 at 11:00 p.m. ET

    If the San Francisco Giants want to bring Brian Wilson back to their bullpen, they will apparently have to wait for a while.

    According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman, the Giants believe Wilson is going to explore all of his options on the open market before considering a return to the Bay Area. 

    Earlier this month, ESPN's Jim Bowden tweeted that Wilson was interested in the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, but there was no word as to whether or not those teams wanted to sign the reliever. 

    What does seem apparent is that Wilson is still miffed about not being tendered a contract for next season and would prefer to play somewhere else unless he has no other options. 

Giants Bring Back Andres Torres

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    Posted: Thursday, Dec. 13 at 11:00 a.m. ET

    San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean has made some great trades during his tenure. But dealing Andres Torres to the New York Mets last year for Angel Pagan is surely one of his best.

    Pagan became a key contributor to the Giants' 2012 World Series championship team, providing the leadoff hitter and center fielder that the lineup needed. 

    Torres floundered with the Mets, suffering a calf injury on Opening Day and losing his job for a while to rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis. He finished the season batting .230 with a .664 OPS in 132 games and became a free agent when the Mets decided not to tender him a contract for next season.

    Sabean got back the player he traded away a year ago, signing Torres to a one-year contract, according to CSN Bay Area's Andrew BaggarlyCBS Sports' Jon Heyman followed up with a tweet saying that Torres' deal is worth $2 million.

    In another tweet, Heyman reported that Torres is expected to split time with Gregor Blanco in left field. That means the Giants are no longer in the mix for free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher. (Though San Francisco likely didn't have the payroll room to sign him anyway.)

Report: Giants Made Offer to Ryan Ludwick

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    Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 1:00 p.m. ET

    John Shea's assertion that the San Francisco Giants have "maxed out" their payroll after re-signing reliever Jeremy Affledt, outfielder Angel Pagan and infielder Marco Scutaro was not a joke.

    According to CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly, the World Series champions lost out on one player as a result.

    According to Baggarly, the Giants had a two-year deal set up with outfielder Ryan Ludwick, who would have played left field and provided a right-handed bat for the San Francisco lineup. But after the team re-signed Scutaro, the money was no longer available.

    Ludwick had a strong season for the Cincinnati Reds this year, batting .275 with an .877 OPS, 26 home runs and 80 RBI. He compiled a .937 OPS against left-handed pitching.

    Baggarly says that free-agent outfielder Scott Hairston is likely out of the Giants' range as well. That likely means San Francisco will be bargain shopping for a right-handed hitting outfielder, waiting to see what's available after the big-ticket items are gone. 

Have the Giants Maxed Out Their Payroll?

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    Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 9:00 a.m. ET

    After spending $78 million in contracts to bring back reliever Jeremy Affeldt, outfielder Angel Pagan and infielder Marco Scutaro, the San Francisco Giants are just about done with their offseason shopping, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea

    Even though the salaries of Freddy Sanchez, Aaron Rowand and Brian Wilson are off the books for next year, Shea says the Giants are just about "maxed out" on payroll.

    That doesn't mean general manager Brian Sabean won't make another addition or two to his roster. But it does mean that the Giants won't be going after a big-ticket free agent like Nick Swisher.

    CBS Sports' Danny Knobler tweeted that the Giants would still like to add another reliever to their bullpen. Presumably, that would be a right-hander to replace Wilson. Or perhaps it will be Wilson, if he can't find the offer he's seeking elsewhere. 

    If the Giants are near the limits of their payroll for 2013, it seems likely that a higher-priced reliever like Mike Adams or Koji Uehara won't be targeted. Maybe someone like Jason Grilli could be on their radar, though it appears that the Pittsburgh Pirates would like to bring him back—especially if they trade closer Joel Hanrahan. 

Giants Sign Marco Scutaro to 3-Year, $20 Million Contract

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    Posted: Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 11:30 p.m. ET

    San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean didn't attend the MLB winter meetings due to a respiratory illness, but his World Series championship team will leave Nashville intact. 

    One day after signing center fielder Angel Pagan to a four-year, $40 million deal, the Giants reached agreement on a three-year, $20 million contract with Marco Scutaro. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the news via Twitter. 

    Earlier Tuesday, there were reports that San Francisco had offered Scutaro a two-year deal with a vesting option for the third year. Scutaro wanted that third year, however, and ultimately that was the difference in returning to the Giants rather than entertaining offers from the St. Louis Cardinals or New York Yankees.

    According to CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly, the Cards proposed a two-year, $16 million contract to Scutaro, more than the Giants had offered in their two-year package. That prompted San Francisco to kick in that third year and got the agreement done. 

    The Yankees were also supposedly interested in Scutaro, presumably as a temporary replacement for Alex Rodriguez at third base and eventually a utility infielder. No word on whether or not the Yanks made an offer, however. 

    Sabean likely isn't done with his offseason shopping. Improvements can still be made. But the priority was to bring back Scutaro and Pagan. With that out of the way, the Giants can now look to make additions, perhaps significant ones. 

Report: Giants Offer Marco Scutaro 2-Year Deal Plus Option

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    Posted: Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET

    Reports that the San Francisco Giants offered a three-year, $24 million contract to free-agent second baseman Marco Scutaro appear to have been premature. 

    Earlier on Tuesday, ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted that bidding for Scutaro had reached the three-year, $24 million stage and said that the Giants were believed to be the front-runners for the infielder.

    However, CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly followed that up with a report that the Giants' offer to Scutaro was actually for a two-year deal with a vesting option for a third year. That could be a significant difference, as Scutaro reportedly wants that third year and any team that comes up with it might end up signing him.

    The team that might be offering that third year, according to Baggarly, is the St. Louis Cardinals. The Yankees have shown interest as well, but it's doubtful that they're willing to go three years with Scutaro. 

    San Francisco is apparently concerned about signing Scutaro to a deal that will take him through age 40. Though Baggarly points out that the Giants have done that previously with Omar Vizquel. 

    If not for a third year on the contract, negotiations could also involve what sorts of incentives trigger that vesting option. Typically, it's a number of plate appearances during one season or a combined total over two years. Maybe the exact number of PAs is a sticking point. 

    Scutaro is expected to give the Giants a final shot at matching or exceeding an offer if he gets a better one elsewhere, however. 

Report: Giants Set to Re-Sign Marco Scutaro

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    Posted: Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

    The market for free-agent infielder Marco Scutaro appears to be picking up.

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the St. Louis Cardinals are looking at Scutaro to play second base for them. The New York Yankees, meanwhile, are also checking in, likely as a fill-in for Alex Rodriguez at third base, then as a utility man when A-Rod returns from hip surgery. 

    But the San Francisco Giants want their second baseman back and have an offer on the table waiting for him, according to multiple outlets. 

    ESPN's Buster Olney reports the Giants appear to be the front-runner to sign Scutaro, offering a three-year deal worth $24 million. CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly confirmed that Scutaro received a three-year offer. 

    Giants general manager Brian Sabean has made re-signing Scutaro one of his offseason priorities as he tries to keep his World Series championship team together. On Monday (Dec. 3), the team re-signed center fielder Angel Pagan to a three-year, $40 million deal. 

    Scutaro batted .362 with an .859 OPS in 61 games for the Giants this season after being acquired from the Colorado Rockies. He was the MVP of the NLCS, batting 14-for-28 with a 1.140 OPS. 

Report: Nick Swisher Wants to Sign with Giants

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    Posted: Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 3:00 p.m. ET

    If the San Francisco Giants are still looking for a big bat to play left field next season, one of the best hitters on the market wants to play for them.

    According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, free agent Nick Swisher would like to sign with the World Series champions. However, he will probably wait until Josh Hamilton signs to make a final decision. Heyman says the Boston Red Sox are in the mix as well. 

    The New York Post's Joel Sherman followed that up by tweeting that a friend of Swisher told him that if he couldn't play in New York or Los Angeles, he wanted to go to the Giants. 

    Swisher would be a nice fit for San Francisco in left field. As a switch-hitter, he'll primarily bat left-handed and could bat between Buster Posey and Hunter Pence in the middle of the Giants batting order. Swisher could also play first base if Brandon Belt sits against left-handed pitching. 

    The question is whether or not the Giants are willing to pay what Swisher is likely seeking in a new contract.

    At one point, Swisher reportedly wanted "Jayson Werth money," which means a seven-year, $126 million contract. But he will probably get something closer to B.J. Upton's contract, which was a five-year, $75 million deal. 

    But the Giants may be looking for a less expensive right-handed hitter to platoon with Gregor Blanco in left field next season. 

Report: Giants Re-Sign Angel Pagan to 4-Year, $40 Million Contract

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    Posted: Monday, Dec. 3 at 4:00 p.m. ET

    San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean continues to do all he can to keep his 2012 World Series championship team together. One more member is officially coming back next year.

    Multiple outlets are reporting that the Giants have re-signed center fielder Angel Pagan to a four-year, $40 million deal. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman was the first to tweet that an agreement had been reached. Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown followed up with the details. 

    The Philadelphia Phillies had been interested in Pagan, perhaps because he was the best available "lower-cost" option below the upper free-agent tier of Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn. As a switch-hitter, he could also give the Phillies' lineup some badly needed right-handed at-bats. 

    But the Giants obviously won out, whether it was in a bidding war or because they had the inside track on a player who was a strong contributor to the 2012 team. 

    This year, Pagan hit .288 with a .778 OPS, 38 doubles, 15 triples and 29 stolen bases for the Giants, giving them a presence in the leadoff spot.

    Getting Pagan was an absolute steal of a deal for Sabean, who acquired the center fielder from the New York Mets for Andres Torres. Torres was non-tendered on Friday.

Giants Non-Tender Brian Wilson; Dodgers Not Interested

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    Posted: Monday, Dec. 3 at 11:00 a.m. ET

    As expected, the San Francisco Giants decided not to tender reliever Brian Wilson a contract before Friday's deadline. Wilson is now a free agent. 

    Had the Giants offered Wilson a contract for next year, it would have had to be for $6.8 million—or 80 percent of the $8.5 million salary he earned this season. As CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly explained, San Francisco wasn't interested in paying that kind of money to a pitcher coming off the second Tommy John surgery of his career. 

    Additionally, Wilson arguably doesn't have a role with the Giants bullpen next season. Sergio Romo eventually won the closer job by the end of the season and through the playoffs. He's not giving that job up, and provides a cheaper alternative with two arbitration years remaining. 

    Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown reported that Wilson would like to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as he makes his offseason home in Los Angeles. But perhaps that was a provocative bluff by Wilson, who may be trying to create leverage for a new contract.

    According to the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez, the Dodgers aren't interested in adding Wilson to their bullpen. The team is looking for a left-hander to join its relief corps. 

Report: Giants Among Teams Interested in Shane Victorino

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    Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 11:00 a.m. ET

    ESPN's Buster Olney recently reported that outfielder Angel Pagan may be looking for more years in a new contract than the San Francisco Giants are willing to give.

    Though the Giants want to bring back their center fielder, the team appears to be exploring other options for the position. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, San Francisco is among seven teams that have shown interest in free-agent outfielder Shane Victorino. 

    This season, Victorino hit .255 with a .704 OPS between the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. He compiled 29 doubles, 11 home runs, 55 RBI and a career-high 39 stolen bases. Victorino struggled in his 53-game stint with the Dodgers, however, batting .245 with a .667 OPS. 

    Pagan hit .288 with a .778 OPS, 38 doubles, 15 triples, 56 RBI and 29 steals for the Giants this season, so Victorino's production obviously suffers in comparison.

    But Victorino will probably cost less money and fewer years in a contract as a result. Additionally, the market for center fielders is a strong one this offseason and Victorino may have to settle for what's left after the likes of Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn and B.J. Upton sign their big-money deals first. 

    However, many teams need a center fielder and Victorino could also play a corner outfield spot, as he did with the Dodgers alongside Matt Kemp. That should help increase the number of teams interested in signing him. Victorino could play either left or center field in San Francisco.

Will Giants Offer Brian Wilson a Contract for 2013?

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    Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Brian Wilson lost his job as the San Francisco Giants closer after suffering an elbow injury two games into the 2012 season. 

    Not only did Wilson miss the rest of the year, but Sergio Romo thrived in the closer role once he took it over late in the season and through the playoffs. 

    Wilson made $8.5 million in the final year of his contract and the Giants were hesitant to bring him back at that salary coming off Tommy John surgery (the second such procedure he's undergone). But if he's not even going to be the team's closer in 2013, paying him that kind of money is even less justifiable. 

    So the Giants have a decision to make and it appears that the team won't tender Wilson a contract for next season, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman.

    The deadline for the Giants to offer a contract is Friday (Nov. 30) and has to be for at least 80 percent of his salary for the previous season, which amounts to $6.8 million. 

    Wilson arguably doesn't have a role in the San Francisco bullpen for next season with the closer and middle relief roles already taken, so the team understandably doesn't want to pay him that much. 

    This wouldn't mean that Wilson's career with the Giants is over. Schulman reports that the team wants to bring him back. But he would have to accept a much lower contract and may want to see if he can find a better deal elsewhere.  

Giants Not Interested in Re-Signing Melky Cabrera

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    Posted: Friday, Nov. 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET

    To no surprise, the San Francisco Giants were not interested in bringing back free-agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman. Cabrera signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. 

    Following his 50-game suspension for PED use, the Giants had an opportunity to add Cabrera to their playoff roster beginning with the NLCS but chose not to. As we now know, San Francisco didn't need Cabrera as they went on to win the World Series.

    Cabrera had alienated teammates and front-office officials by being untruthful about his PED use and his attempts to cover up the positive test.

    Under those circumstances along with the questions of how effective a player Cabrera really is without help from performance-enhancers, a two-year contract and $16 million were far more than the Giants were willing to pay, according to CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly.

    San Francisco is instead focused on re-signing center fielder Angel Pagan. 

Re-Signing Marco Scutaro Next on Giants' List

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    Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 9:30 a.m. ET

    With reliever Jeremy Affeldt re-signed, San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean is now working on bringing back second baseman Marco Scutaro and center fielder Angel Pagan.

    According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman, the Giants feel confident about re-signing Scutaro, likely to a two-year contract. 

    Scutaro made $6 million this season in the option year of what was originally a two-year deal with the Boston Red Sox. The guess here is that he'll work out something along the lines of a $14 million deal, perhaps with an option for a third year. 

    Overall, Scutaro hit .306 with a .753 OPS this season with seven home runs and 74 RBI. After being traded from the Colorado Rockies to the Giants, he hit .362 with an .859 OPS, driving in 44 runs. Scutaro was named MVP of the NLCS, batting .500 (14-for-28) with a 1.140 OPS. 

    In his report, Schulman adds that bringing back Pagan isn't as definite a proposition, as he'll receive several offers from interested teams. As a result, the Giants are looking at other outfielders such as Shane Victorino and Torii Hunter. 

Giants Sign Reliever Jeremy Affeldt to Three-Year Contract

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    Posted: Monday, Nov. 12 at 10:00 p.m. ET

    The San Francisco Giants are doing their best to keep the band together. At the very least, their bullpen is staying intact. 

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Giants signed left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt to a three-year deal worth approximately $18 million. (Earlier in the day, ESPN's Buster Olney mentioned the same contract terms.) 

    This season, Affeldt compiled a 2.70 ERA in 67 appearances. He struck out 57 batters in 63.1 innings. In four years with the Giants, he's accumulated a 2.73 ERA and a strikeout rate of 8.0 batters per nine innings. 

    As the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman writes, Affeldt's performance was especially important for the Giants after they lost closer Brian Wilson early in the season. While Affeldt didn't take over as closer, he pitched in middle relief well enough to allow Santiago Casilla and then Sergio Romo to move into the ninth-inning role. 

    The same could be true next season as San Francisco mulls over how much to offer Wilson as he returns from Tommy John surgery and has lost the closer's job to Romo.

    All indications seem to be that the Giants want Wilson back and he wants to return, but he'll probably have to take a pay cut. The team could still decide not to tender him a contract for next year, making him a free agent. 

Are the Giants Interested in Nick Swisher?

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    Posted: Monday, Nov. 12 at 12:30 p.m. ET

    The San Francisco Giants are among six teams interested in free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman

    As a switch-hitter, Swisher would provide some left-handed pop to go with Pablo Sandoval in the Giants batting order. This season, Swisher hit 24 home runs with 93 RBI for the New York Yankees. He finished with a .272 batting average and .837 OPS. 

    Swisher would presumably play left field for San Francisco with Hunter Pence already manning right field and the team looking to re-sign center fielder Angel Pagan. He hasn't played left field since 2008 with the Chicago White Sox but has 117 games at the position during his career.

    Perhaps Swisher could also be a right-handed option at first base when Brandon Belt needs a day off or sits against a tough left-handed pitcher. 

    Heyman also reports that the clubs interested in Swisher are willing to offer him a three-year deal worth $11 million to $13 million per season. But with so many teams in pursuit, one will likely come through with a fourth year for Swisher. 

Giants Looking to Sign Jeremy Affeldt to Three-Year Deal

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    Posted: Friday, Nov. 9 at 6:00 p.m. ET

    San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean is trying to keep his World Series championship team together this offseason. 

    That includes a bullpen which was excellent during the postseason. A big part of that success was left-hander Jeremy Affledt, who didn't allow a run in 10.1 innings. He also compiled 10 strikeouts versus three walks.

    During the regular season, Affeldt accumulated a 2.70 ERA in 67 appearances. In 63.1 innings, he struck out 57 batters, resulting in a rate of 8.1 per nine frames. Though he's left-handed, Affeldt was more than a situational reliever. He can be a setup man for any team's bullpen. 

    But the Giants want to keep him in their relief corps. According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, San Francisco is confident it will re-sign Affledt to a three-year contract.

    Affeldt made $5 million in the final year of his last deal, so it stands to reason he'll get a raise from there. The guess is here is that he'll get a contract worth between $16.5 million and $18 million. That is, unless another team makes Affeldt a better offer. 

Brandon Belt a Popular Trade Target This Offseason?

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    Posted: Friday, Nov. 9 at 4:30 p.m. ET

    Brandon Belt finally emerged as the San Francisco Giants first baseman this season.

    The 24-year-old had an outstanding August and September, batting a combined .330 with an .884 OPS, three home runs and 23 RBI. 

    As a result, the Giants declined the 2013 option for Aubrey Huff, all but confirming Belt will be San Francisco's first baseman next year.

    Belt has played two seasons, which means he still has one more season before he becomes arbitration-eligible. That puts him under team control for four more years, which is the new commodity in MLB.

    Teams value young, cost-controlled players who won't become free agents for multiple seasons. Belt's status has made him a popular trade target, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. The Giants have received many calls from other clubs regarding Belt. 

    But San Francisco surely wants to keep him for exactly the same reasons, especially as payroll is sure to increase for 2013 as general manager Brian Sabean and ownership tries to keep a World Series championship team together. 

Could Hiroyuki Nakajima Replace Marco Scutaro at Second Base?

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    Posted: Friday, Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. ET

    The San Francisco Giants want to bring back second baseman and NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro next season, but are exploring replacement options if he ends up signing elsewhere. 

    According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Giants could be interested in Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima to play second base. This season with the Seibu Lions, Nakajima hit .311 with an .833 OPS. He accmuluated 29 doubles and 13 home runs with 74 RBI. 

    The New York Yankees won the rights to bid for Nakajima last year after paying a $2 million posting fee. But when it became apparent that he would get a part-time role, Nakajima opted to play in Japan again. The 30-year-old infielder has played 11 seasons with Seibu. 

    As Rosenthal points out, however, Japanese infielders haven't had much success in MLB, which could make the Giants—along with the Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks—reluctant to invest in him as a starting major leaguer. 

    Nakajima has averaged 17 home runs with 86 RBI during the past six seasons. He's hit .310 with an .856 OPS. 

Does Hunter Pence's Arbitration Price Make Him a Non-Tender Candidate?

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    Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 11:00 a.m ET

    As MLB Trade Rumors explains in a recent post, the San Francisco Giants have quite a few players eligible for arbitration.

    Not just any players either. We're talking about key pieces like NL MVP candidate Buster Posey, along with relievers Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla and Brian Wilson. All of those players are likely to be brought back with arbitration-fueled raises.

    Another player eligible for arbitration and a significant raise is outfielder Hunter Pence. He made $10.4 million last season, according to Cot's Contracts, and is projected for a raise of approximately $3 million. 

    Overall last season, Pence hit .253 with a .743 OPS while slugging 24 home runs with 102 RBI. Those weren't spectacular numbers, though the home run and RBI numbers look impressive.

    With the Giants, Pence batted .219 with a .671 OPS, seven homers and 45 RBI. He wasn't much better in the postseason with a .210 average, .521 OPS, one home run and four RBI.

    That's not the kind of production San Francisco envisioned when the team acquired him from the Philadelphia Phillies before the trade deadline. Yet in this era of baseball, Pence is still looking at getting a hefty raise. 

    But do the Giants want to give Pence that raise? They can choose not to tender him a contract instead. Of course, that would mean that the team got little in return for sending top catching prospect Tommy Joseph, pitcher Seth Rosin and outfielder Nate Schierholtz to Philadelphia.

    Pence also became a popular player in San Francisco during the last half of the season. During the playoffs, he became known for his fiery pregame speeches. Yet the Giants could use that money to re-sign Angel Pagan and perhaps bring in a significant upgrade like Josh Hamilton. 

    However, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, there's no question about offering Pence arbitration. He'll get a salary between $13 million and $14 million next season and be the Giants' right fielder. 

If Jeremy Affeldt Gets Multi-Year Offer, Do Giants Let Him Walk?

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    Posted: Thursday, Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. ET

    Left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt has been a key part of the San Francisco Giants bullpen for the past four seasons.

    But after the Giants finish celebrating their 2012 World Series title, Affeldt will become a free agent. That will create a tough decision for general manager Brian Sabean.

    Bringing back Affeldt seems like a no-brainer. He teamed up with Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez to give San Francisco one of the best bullpens in MLB.

    Yet if Affeldt is looking to get a significant raise over the $5 million he made in 2012, and seeks a multi-year contract, the Giants may have to let him go.

    According to MLB.com's Chris Haft, several teams could offer Affeldt a multi-year deal worth more than $5 million per season. If the Giants feel they can fit such a contract under their payroll, the team will likely try to match any offer that Affeldt receives.

    But if San Francisco doesn't want its player budget to exceed the $131 million the organization carried in 2012 (according to Cot's Contracts), then cuts will have to be made somewhere.

    The Giants will have two lefties in their bullpen with Lopez and Jose Mijares, who was picked up from waivers in early August. Lopez finished with a 2.70 ERA in 70 appearances while Mijares compiled a 2.55 ERA in 24 games. Mijares also struck out 10.2 batters per nine innings.

    That might be enough for San Francisco to decide it can get by without Affeldt next season and use his salary to help fill other spots on the roster.

Could Giants Lose Pitching Coach Dave Righetti and VP Bobby Evans?

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    Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. ET

    One side effect of success in sports is that rival teams and programs will eventually poach coaches and executives from a winning organization, hoping they can help build a contender elsewhere.

    With the San Francisco Giants winning two World Series in the past three seasons, the team might find assistant coaches and front-office executives being hired away by clubs looking to get some of the Giants' mojo.

    Engaging in pure speculation, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman wonders if Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti and vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans might be in line for promotions elsewhere in MLB. 

    Though Righetti hasn't been mentioned as a candidate for managerial openings with the Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins or Toronto Blue Jays, could he be interested in taking one of those jobs?

    Pitching coaches don't typically make good managers, perhaps because they're often focused on one aspect of the team, rather than the overall game.

    But for a team like the Rockies, whose pitching staff was in total disarray this season with four-man rotations and 75-pitch limits, maybe Righetti could settle that situation down. 

    The job market for Evans might not be as fruitful right now, as there aren't any MLB openings for general managers. But maybe an owner would be interested in making a change, knowing that someone from the Giants front office is available.  

    Again, this is purely speculation. Heyman didn't attach Righetti or Evans to any job. He merely noted that both of them should be considered. 

Giants Decline 2013 Option on Aubrey Huff

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    Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 5:30 p.m. ET

    First baseman Aubrey Huff was a key contributor to the San Francisco Giants' 2010 World Series championship team.

    In 2012, however, Huff was a non-factor as the Giants returned to the Fall Classic and the Giants have decided to cut him loose. According to CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly, San Francisco will decline Huff's $10 million option for next season and give him a $2 million buyout.

    Huff appeared in only 95 games this season, sidelined with an anxiety disorder and a knee injury. As Brandon Belt became increasingly reliable at first base, Huff's playing time virtually disappeared. He hit .192 with a .608 OPS, one home run and seven RBI. 

    Compare that to the .290 average and .891 OPS Huff posted in 2010, along with 35 doubles, 26 home runs and 86 RBI. 

    Showing gratitude for his contribution to a World Series champion, Huff was rewarded with a two-year, $22 million deal. At the time, that seemed like a overly generous offer. In hindsight, the contract looks insane.

    But the Giants are washing their hands of Huff's contract now, giving him a $2 million pat on the back on his way out the door.