The basics of the deal:
- Old deal torn up so that Cain can have no-trade protection for the 2012 season as well as the rest of the contract, but he still gets "only" the $15M for 2012.
- He gets 5 additional years at $20M per season extension, signing him to his 32 YO season.
- He gets $5M signing bonus (which basically makes his 2012 salary $20M, probably not by coincidence).
- There is an option 6th year (or 7th if you count the current contract) for 2018 (33 YO season) that is a team option at $21M. However, the option year vests into a player option at $21M if he meets 2017 IP target that basically means that he is healthy at that point of the contract. He gets a $7.5M buyout from the Giants if they decline the team option. If he earns the option year via vesting, he gets a $7.5M buyout if he declines the player option (in other words, he gets at least $7.5M :^).
Various ways to say how big this contract is, but he basically gets another 5 years at $20M plus a $5M signing bonus and a $7.5M buyout. Average of $22.5M for a total of $112.5M guaranteed additional money, total $127.5M if you count the $15M contract (that's cheating, I think, as he already had that), and $141M if you count the $21M option as well, which works out to an average annual value of a little over $20M per season. The agents will definitely go with the higher numbers so that they have some firsts that they can claim (and market to future players who they recruit for clients).
This is a basically what everyone thought he would get, around $20M per season, plus the bonus and buyout on top of that, plus an option year. I'm happy with the deal, the D-ger sale put some upward pressure on the deal, but it is close enough that it is pretty much a push regarding average annual value with the high end of what I would be willing to pay ($20M per season). I view this as a win-win for both sides.
The Giants had to do this, and it is like I've been saying all along, big contract negotiations just always takes the whole time up to the deadline. Basically, as a negotiator, particularly the agent for the pitcher, any earlier and it will feel like you left something on the table. That is why almost all the big money draft signings take until the last days before the deadline to get signed: the agents will haggle up to the last moment, to get that last dollar, but makes sure that his player can sign in time to beat the deadline, because you don't want to risk losing out on the big money.
Only Boras is willing to play chicken and hold out the longest, and risk his player not signing, as most agents realize that the financial liability of a player missing on a signing and then, for some reason, is unable to play or perform at that level anymore can be large: misrepresentation, fiduciary responsibility, even incompetence accusations, it would not be pretty at all. That's why Cain would most probably sign, as long as the Giants were offering, as he's been asking for, a fair deal.
Ultimately, the Giants did, because all the talk before was just part of the dance of negotiations, a process that both sides have to go through in order to feel assured that they did not get 'ripped off' in any way. 5 years is what the market was bearing for most players so I view it as a win that Cain got only 5 years and not the 6 years that some were advocating. It is risky enough given that he is a pitcher, and he has had elbow issues in the past. That is a lot of risk for the team to take given that he could be injured in 2012 and the Giants would still owe him $107.5M still.
And $20M per season is about what the top young pitchers were getting, and with the D-ger big money owners sitting on the sidelines with their money bags waiting to be paid out, the Giants had to push to there to get Cain. I think that is why the Giants were rumored to be sitting at $90M for 5 years previously.
Now the Giants need to work on long term deals for Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, and Madison Bumgarner. :^)
Press conference with Cain to be broadcast on KNBR at 3:30PM.