Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Professor Gets Tenure: Giants Sign Crawford to 6 Year, $75M Contract

It has been reported by all the beat writers, which will be officially announced in news conference on Wednesday:


He gets a $1.2M bonus, then $5.8M in 2016, $8M in 2017, then $15M from 2018-2021, covering his second and third arbitration seasons, then four of his free agents years, covering him to age 34 season.  Now only Crawford and Posey are signed for the 2021 season, though I expect Bumgarner to join them within the next season or two.  He has a full no-trade clause and no option language.  

He and the team had briefly discussed an extension last spring, but the conversation never got serious.  However, that discussion began the process and then the talks picked up earlier this month, as the extension took a high priority for the front office.  And now they got this bit of business done before getting hot and heavy into the free agency market.


ogc thoughts

Nice reward for a bust out season, in addition to his Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards, and he could even get better still, as he is in his prime physical years, 2016 is his 29 YO season.  And with Simmons traded to the AL, Crawford should win a few more Gold Gloves.  Congrats to BCraw for his well deserved contract and family security.  It is nice to see good guys like him do well, and especially sweet for a kid who grew up a big Giants fan (and he has the newspaper photo to prove it).

Payroll Implications

He was estimated at $5.6M for his arbitration year by MLBTR, so this contract adds almost $7M to the Actual Club Payroll that is used for penalty threshold purposes, but because a number of players have much higher salaries for Payroll purposes than Actual Club Payroll, that just brought the ACP closer to the Payroll, as the Payroll only went up $1.4M.  That leaves $36.35M in payroll left to spend to reach a target of $178.5M for the payroll (modest 5% increase in payroll), which leaves roughly $3.5M in ACP beyond that before incurring the penalty tax that Baer said the team would be trying to avoid.

That is not very much that the Giants can take on in salary in 2016, to make another stretch run, if the opportunity comes, so perhaps they might spend a little less.  Still, at $36M roughly, that's only enough to get maybe two pitchers at Leake's talent level or a top line pitcher with enough left over to pick up Aoki again, if they take the free agent route.

The predictions for Leake varies some, but are close:

  • MLBTR:  5 years, $80M, $16M AAV (Giants were predicted team)
  • Fangraphs (Cameron):  5 years, $80M, $16M AAV (D-backs)
  • Fangraphs Crowdsourcing:  4 years, $56M, $14M AAV
  • MLB (Duquette): 4 years, $55M, $13.75M AAV (Tigers) 

That prices Leake at slightly above 2 WAR, which seems about right to me.  I like the range of $14-16M.  That would leave roughly $20M to spend, and that is not going to get them a Greinke or Price.  It might get them a Zimmerman or Cueto, depending on where Leake ends up and where they end up, could be very close.  Other pitchers in Leake AAV price range include Jeff Samardzija, Wei-Yin Chen, Scott Kazmir, Ian Kennedy, Yovani Gallardo, Hisashi Iwakuma, and signing two of these guys would leave about $7-10M left to spend on a LF.  Austin Jackson, Geraraldo Parra and Denard Span could be in that price range.

Trade Route

Given that Evans said that they hope to sign Leake to be our #3 pitcher, meaning that they hope to get a better pitcher, a #2, a trade might be the best way to get that #2, as there might not be enough money to get a #2 starter after signing Leake to a contract in the $14-16M price range, it would be a tight fit, as they can only afford to go maybe as high as $21M AAV.  It could also mean that the Giants might also be able to spend big on a LF and boost the offense that way, if a trade is what brings in the other SP.  Or, as some beat writers have suggested, sign or trade for a CF while trading Pagan away, making Blanco the starting LF.  But trades appear to be a viable way for the Giants to pick up the final roster pieces.

But to get something, you have to give something.  Belt is our most valuable asset who could be traded, but also one of our best players who might also get an extension, so I don't see that happening.  Also, it was mentioned by a beat writer that teams are asking for Panik or Duffy but the team is planning on keeping them.

That would leave Susac as the next most valuable asset to trade, particularly since we already have a starting catcher and Posey don't look ready to give it up anytime soon, he's probably got a hold of the position for at least two more seasons.   And Susac is pretty close to ready to take a Major League starting job somewhere.  Plus, the Giants have Aramis Garcia making a nice splash in the lower minors, he could be ready to start by the time Posey is ready to move off the catching position.  If a trade is made, Susac most likely will be the headline trade piece, while additional players are added to even out the value.

I've seen people suggest Cleveland as a possible trade partner because they have a number of good young pitchers already pitching well in the majors.  The GM specifically addressed this rumor and noted that with so many good ones, he would like to build around them, not trade any of them away.  This means that he wants to be overwhelmed if he is going to trade any of them.  And they have a nice lineup already, the only thing missing is a leadoff hitter, and they do have openings in the OF, both CF and RF, as well as C.  They could also use a 3B.

So the Giants do have pieces to fill those gaps.  Pagan is in a contract drive year and his legs should be healthy after the surgery to fix them, plus all the rest from not playing ball while on the DL.  Or Blanco would be another option for leadoff and OF.  Then the Giants could add in Williamson as the future RF, and Susac as the new starting catcher.  Is that enough to get a Carrasco or Salazar?  Don't know.   But Arroyo would make an amazing 3B prospect for them as well, if the Giants need to sweeten the pot.  But I'm not sure if any of these guys are on their Don't Trade list.  I would like to think that they are, and thus this proposed trade would never happen, but I've been surprised before.  And that seems excessive to me to trade away, but sometimes you have to give to get, and the GM wants to be given an offer he can't refuse.

I see people trading off Beede or Bickford in a deal.  I don't really see that happening, as we'll be needing new pitchers for the rotation when Peavy then Cain's contracts ends.  Both Beede and Bickford have done very well in the minors, and both have key skills that pitchers need, velocity and control/command of the pitch.   I would be surprised if either are traded because they look good to reach the majors right now, and the Giants have been very good at not trading away any prospect who ended up being a good player, generating 3+ WAR every year consistently.   Hopefully at least one joins the rotation and the other becomes a good reliever.  We'll see, but Giants trades tend to never work out badly in terms of who we let go among our prospects.

That's a large reason why I don't bother offering trade ideas, because I'm not sure which prospects are on their Do Not Trade list, and which are not.  I think I can make some good educatdd guesses, but not good enough to think I know exactly who are the untouchables.  I take comfort in knowing that the FO has been so accomplished in not trading away their best prospects for becoming a good major leaguer.   So if a trade is made, I will feel pretty good that we didn't give up too much future value.

2 comments:

  1. Here are the links to reports on what was said in the press conference announcing the deal:
    http://m.giants.mlb.com/news/article/157638310
    http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Giants-Crawford-say-six-year-75-million-deal-6641908.php
    http://www.csnbayarea.com/giants/crawford-says-it-was-easy-decision-sign-long-term-deal
    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/giants/2015/11/18/brandon-crawfois-prime-years/

    I wish I could have caught the press conference live, but they did it right when I was busy. I wish there was a transcript, I find that the beat writers filter out stuff, and I want to see the whole enchilada. Love all the quotes, especially Crawford noting that the Giants should win 3 more championships in his six years.

    Sidenote to the Crawford news is that the Giants are also working on an extension with Belt. I don't think it'll happen, both Crawford and Belt has been waiting for a year where they put it all together before, I think, Crawford had his this season, while Belt had another injury shortened season, so I expect him to wait another season. Also, it would reduce the amount the Giants can spend without incurring the penalty tax, so I really don't see him being signed to an extension, though it would be nice and I am all for it, because I think he's a good hitter who could have a great season sooner than later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is link to FG's analysis of Crawford's development: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/giants-reward-brandon-crawfords-unusual-path/#comment-5077777

      This links to my comment, as it is my wont to do sometimes. :^)

      Delete

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