Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Your 2013 Giants: Romo Signs for Two Years

Chron and CSNBA reports that Sergio Romo signed for two years, but no financials given (yet).  He asked for $4.5M and the Giants offered $2.675M.  The deal covers his last two arbitration years.

ogc thoughts

Romo's ask is equivalent to $7.5M free market salary, which is roughly League money.  Giants offer was equivalent to $4.458M, which is roughly what they gave him last year ($1.575M = $3.94M plus 10% raise).    I would guess that the Giants might have signed him for $3.3M (or $5.5M) for 2013 and $4.5M for 2014 ($5.625M).  That's roughly what the Giants are paying Affeldt and Casilla, plus a 10% bump up because he does close some, like Affeldt and Casilla.  Bochy's language so far is clearly about the bullpen as a committee again in 2013.

And that makes sense.  Romo's a fragile guy, he's been very open about pitching with pain and getting the job done, plus he's been shut down in prior years for tender elbow.  His key pitch is the slider, which is hard on the elbow.  So Bochy splits the load during the regular season among the gang, then go to Romo in the playoffs, when it's time to put the pedal to the metal, and floor it.

They could go as high at $6M free market (or $3.6M and $4.8M) but I don't see them going higher.  But you never know...

Also, Ramon Ramirez has been signed to a minor league contract and will compete for a bullpen spot.  That's after negotiations with Brandon Lyon went south, he wanted more clarity about the late innings opportunities.


  1. KTVU reported $9M last night but I see no corroboration yet. That would be roughly $4M and $5M. That is roughly $6.5M free market rate. So I was way off, that yielded that whether closer or not, he is a great reliever and got better reliever money, just not closer money. But pretty close...

  2. Romo gets $3.5MM in 2013 and $5.5MM in 2014, good for $9MM in total, according to Dan Plesac of the MLB Network

    Not a bad signing at all. Like you say, the Giants will need to baby Romo a bit due to small frame, trick knee, tender elbow. The slider, best in baseball, is the bread and butter. I just keep going back to the fact Javy Lopez didn't get out of the 30s in IP in 2012. That speaks volumes that Bochy knows what he's doing. Lopez is amazingly more effective against lefties, limiting his exposure.

    Speaking of Lyon, I'd look to the Mets last year as a pretty easy example of what folks look at as an "ideal" method of building a pen. It was an unmitigated disaster. The Giants have the pitching coaches, the scouts and the flexibility to adjust on the fly. Which they did after Wilson went down.

    There is a Sabean quote about every year some player will surprise and another will crater. Yup, even Sabey Sabes agrees a little with the Saberz on reliever volatility. What signing the Lefties did was provide that flexibility and coverage. Because the Giants already knew that Wilson was gimpy.

    That's where you really have to check what Sabean says. He's plain spoken, and pretty straight forward. He was very open about securing the pitching. Instead of deriding him as a fool, maybe what he says should be valued and weighed.

    And on a different note, I saw Baggs tweet on the non-roster invites. Of note: only 2 OFs invited, and Baggs noted that Gary Brown is going to play a lot. As believers, you and I might be tempted to read a little more into that statement. I think Brown is making adjustments and is going to surprise the 'experts' on the interwebz big time.

    1. OK, that makes more sense, I was rushing between meetings. That's roughly $6M in 2013, $7M in 2014 using the 60% and 80% estimations. Thanks, as always.

      Yes, I agree with all you say, particularly about Sabean. He is really binary with information, he keeps a lot behind his "kimono" but is very open on things that he's willing to talk about. To your point, very plain spoken and straight forward.

      I understand why Giants fans complained about the relievers, they have just been misled by sabermetrics that relievers are cheap, easy to find, and fungible. It is generally cheap, but they forget that this is not a simulation or made up scenario, this is reality.

      The reality is that when you really need a reliever, you are going to have to pay through the nose to get him sometimes, and that prevents you from getting who you want and limits you to what you can get. And sometimes you can't get much. By building a bullpen full of relievers who are capable of closing out games for you, you have mitigated the risks of any particular reliever blowing up (to your point about Wilson last season).

      And given the example of last season plus Romo's history of physical problems, the Giants have no choice but to bring back the gang, at whatever price works, to insure to the best of their abilities that the bullpen will be there when they need it. Not in that mystical land of fungible relievers.

    2. About OF, while it is only 2 OF invited, the Giants already have Kieschnick, Peguero, and Perez on the 40 man, plus who knows if the Giants might try some of their infielders out there again. So it is good that Baggs noted that Brown will play a lot.

      What I read into that is what any of us saw last season: Blanco is not ready to start full-time. Whether he'll be ready will be determined by how well he plays this spring. Therefore it behooves the Giants to explore other options as well.

      The mention of Brown means the Giants didn't read any of the opinions on Brown as a prospect, that they are going to give him a chance to prove those reports wrong. If he can beat out Blanco, then Pagan would move to LF while Brown fields CF. Not that he can, but he'll at least get the opportunity. And with Blanco out for the WBC, that gives Brown a lot of opportunity since the other other real competitor in CF is Blanco and the Giants will probably instead prepare him for starting LF.

      Nice to see a number of pitchers invited. Brett Bochy I expected, he did very well in AA. Plus: it's Bochy Jr.! Kickham similarly, had very good season in AA.

      Also interesting that Josh Osich was invited, that gets me excited as a fanboy, I feel he has the raw skills but didn't get to show much last season due to injury and only in Advanced A, still kudos on the invite.

      Giants Naysayers are probably jazzed that Brock Bond is in camp, maybe he'll get a chance to show off what they think he can do.

      And, wow, five catchers have been invited to camp, including Susac.

      Was a little surprised that none of Crick, Stratton, or Blackburn got invited. Thought maybe they might get a sneak peak thrill, especially with WBC. Particularly Stratton as the grizzled college vet.

      Oh, and the Big Sadowski returneth.

    3. Brock Bond is a nice scrapper story, but he just doesn't have the chops to make the show. That stat line is absolutely misleading.

      Noonan on the other hand, he got protected because teams were asking about him this year. That speaks volumes. As does the fact that Bond was exposed and nobody claimed him. As you say, his contact rate is a very good sign. He has the arm for short or 3B, he can scrap to the show. Good stuff.

      Don't forget Pagan is playing the WBC as well, for PR. That WBC is most likely why Baggs said Brown would get a ton of PT. I'm excited to see what he's got. There are a minority of scout types who say that Brown HAS made good adjustments for plate coverage also.

      Lot of arms in camp, almost a comical amount. The Giants are definitely cultivating their rep as second chance or last chance opportunity.

      Of all the lefties, I think that Kickham may actually be underrated right now. Very interested to see what he does in ST and AAA, which is a big test. Osich will be babied a bunch methinks. Lot of potential there for sure.

    4. Ooops, I meant to write Pagan was out for WBC. Didn't remember that Blanco was out too. Thanks.

      Yeah, as much as those people love Bond, I love Noonan, and still think that he can be a good addition to any MLB team.

      I have a lot of faith in Brown's abilities to adjust. Because he has adjusted a lot already, in college, in Cape Cod league, in SJ, in AA, in AFL. Thus it does not surprise me that he has made good adjustments.

      His problem is more identifying when to adjust. Sounds like the Giants left him alone to do what he does, but then steps in to help and make suggestions when he struggles. When, from what I gather, they could have done this with him right off the bat when they got him. Seems similar to how they handled Bumgarner, he's admitted in recent interviews that he knows a lot more now about how to be successful than when he was starting, and that seems a testament to how the Giants let him make his mistakes then step in and help him out.

      If that is not great player development, I don't know what is.

      Yeah, Osich will probably be babied, but given how little he was used and how low he was last season in the system, it reminds me of how the Giants pushed Dirty up the system fast when they needed him, they wouldn't invite him unless they think he is close enough that he could be useful should the need arises this season.

      I like Kickham too, did really well in AA, look forward to seeing him in AAA.

    5. Yeah, not sure if Blanco is playing WBC, I know Scutaro/Sandoval are for sure, and our lefty.

      Baggs tweet: #SFGiants invited 30 non-roster guys to big league camp: 17 Ps, five Cs, six IFs and just two OFs. Gary Brown's gonna play a lot.

      I have a lot of faith in his ability to adjust, his quick twitch skills and his athleticism. He's the best athlete in our system, and he should have sneaky pop to keep pitchers honest. He does have to hone them leadoff skills and them basepath skills. But he's not nearly the failure that is being portrayed right now.

      We'll see how it turns out, in typical Giants fashion there are all sorts of competitive elements floating around, but I bet Noonan gets a fair shake and a long look this spring.

    6. I have faith that Brown will figure out his leadoff skills. He's done it at every level so far.

      What I'm worried about is his ability to steal. That is a plus skill I was counting on. Still, even if he's just a regular stealer, if he can get on base regularly and show enough pop to drive in runs, that's more important to me than him being a top stealer, that and great defense. Those I feel good about, just like you, hence why we do not view him as a failure.

      The problem is that its human nature to yo-yo emotions and feelings based on what last happened, and he faltered, so that explains why most view him negatively right now.

      That has been where the Giants have shined in the draft since Barr joined us, I like that he's been picking up prospects past the first round who were projected at some point to be first rounders but fell due to a disappointing season, not that that's an automatic plus, but it means that they look beyond just how they did in their last college season and factor in the skills that they had shone previously, to avoid that urge to downplay skills just because they had a season that is considered down. It is that nuanced view that I appreciate out of the Giants right now.

      Yes, time will tell, and we could be wrong ultimately, but I still feel good about Brown coming up and contributing. Even if he's a washout offensively and just replacement level (I think he should be better than that, in any season), with great defense, he could be adding 2 WAR just on fielding defense alone and be a great value to our team, which is based on defense, both pitching and fielding. That's a point DrB has made over and over again on Brown that I agree wholeheartedly with, that Brown should be a gimme in terms of MLB production, the question is more will he be solely that great defensive contributor, or can he both lead defensively and offensively at the top of the lineup. I still believe he can be both.

    7. I agree that Noonan will get a long look this spring, he earned it with his nice comeback season in 2012, and if he can deliver, he will give Arias and Tanaka a good run for one of the two utility MI spots.

      I expect, however, that unless he really breaks out big, the Giants will be content to let him continue his break out and to consolidate his game at AAA, and be ready should the Giants need a starting 2B or SS in 2013 (as Cousins/Posey and Holliday/Scutaro showed, you never know when you can lose a starter). And I know Scutaro survived and did well, but he was lucky, by rights, he should be been demolished and put on the DL by that dirty slide, and the Cards might have been celebrating their second World Championship in the 2010's instead of the Giants.

      Having that young backup is a way teams mitigate the risk of injury and poor performance. And as a SS/2B, Noonan probably could play any position on the field except catch, and if it gets him in an MLB uni, he would probably do that too. He backs up the infield, and Peguero backs up the OF, with Kieschnick backup for Peguero in the corners and Panik back for Noonan in the infield.

      Then there is Heston and Kickham in AAA, plus Bochy too, along with Hembree. The Giants will be nicely covered for the major league club in the minors in 2013, in case of a lost starter.

      Not fully covered, but I think covered enough that we can survive such a loss competitively, until Sabean can work out a trade to get a better replacement.

  3. I am wrong, Romo is going to be the closer in name, but the Giants are going to watch his usage carefully:

    So it will be much like a regular closer, in that he's going to get the lion share of save opportunities, but because he has a history of elbow problems and other physical issues, they are going to be realistic and give saves to others if they deem that he needs more rest.

    So there will not be a closer of committee situation, Romo will be the closer, but he will be watched very closely regarding his usage, both because of his physical history, as well as his participation in the WBC. I guess that is why they gave him more money in the deal than I thought, they viewed using him as a closer, whereas I did not.

    And not that his performance doesn't earn him that job, but he has had health issues related to his arm, so that's the big worry for me regarding him being a full-time closer. I'm still glad we got Affeldt and Casilla around to pick up the slack, should anything happen to Sergio.



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