Samardzija got the same five-year, $90 million deal Hunter Pence signed in 2013. The deal includes a $9 million signing bonus, with $3 million paid upfront and the rest spread out. Essentially, he’ll make $12 million in 2016 and $19.5 million each of the next four seasons. Samardzija also got a limited no-trade clause that allows him to pick eight teams each season that he can be traded to.The Giants lose their #19 draft pick with this signing, as Baggarly noted. Apparently the Giants think a lot more about the Shark (it's going to take a while for me to learn to type his last name without errors :^) than they do Leake, because the reports are that while they remain interested in Leake, they will not be willing to give him the same deal and with all the deals done already and teams interested in Leake, it appears that market demand will push him up to that size of a deal. And signing him would not cost the Giants another draft pick, so not only did they pay more in contract, they gave up on a draft pick.
In any case, reportedly, Samardzija preferred to sign with the Giants over other teams. And that was probably key to this deal being closed so fast after Greinke signed with the D-backs (you know the story, so I won't repeat that), as his agent reportedly said that he had a $100M deal on the table a few days ago (though, for what it's worth, all the reporting I saw after that was that this was what they were asking for, not that he was offered that).
Plus, Pavs noted these factors that the Giants took into account:
“Even in tough times (last year) he still put 200-plus innings on the board,” Evans said. “You look at his track record, you look at his presence that he brings on the mound, you look at back-to-back-to-back 200-plus (inning) seasons, and you realize this guy is a force to be reckoned with. There’s a reason why we targeted him and a reason why we focused on him as one of our top priorities.
“You’ve got a guy who has made the conversion from reliever to starter and has done that well. There are a lot of innings left in that arm.”
The Giants believe Samardzija’s 2015 numbers may have been partially skewed by the fact that he was pitching for his third team in two seasons, and they have identified mechanical adjustments they can make to a guy who has the tools to be an ace. Samardzija, a former football star at Notre Dame, is listed at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, throwing a fastball that averaged 94.3 mph last season and topped out at 97.9. The Giants believe they can harness that kind of electric stuff, and they have one of the best pitching coaches in the game in Dave Righetti.ogc thoughts
You're a Rich One, Mr. Greinke
This was the title I was going to use for the blog post when it was reported that we signed Samardzija (yea, typed with no mistake, though I did slow down near the end!) so I wanted to use it somewhere. His signing to the largest AAV contract, as well as nearly as big as Price's, at 6 years, $206.5M (though some of it was deferred, making the contract worth more like $190M in present value; though I would note that, strictly speaking, I take any discussion of "present value" with regards to baseball contracts with a grain of salt because if one is going to calculate net present value, the whole contract has be netted, not just the deferred payments) was apparently the domino that needed to fall in order for the Giants to sign the Shark.
This move should make the D-backs into close to being a contender, as they were around .500 last season and have some good pieces in Goldschmidt and Pollock, plus stated that they are still in search of another starter and are pursuing, among others, Mike Leake. I had been hoping that their pursuit of Cueto would kill their interest in Leake, and here they sign Greinke to about $14.3M more per season than Cueto and they are still pursuing him.
Giants Next Moves
Surprisingly, per the accounts from the beats (Baggarly and Pavs above, here's Schulman), it sounds like the Giants will probably not get Leake. The feeling is that with Samardzija's deal, Leake will be wanting 5 years, $90M ($18M AAV) as well, and, basically, that's too rich for the Giants blood, which I've been noting had been the problem area between the two sides.
Rumors currently have the Giants looking at Iwakuma right now. And that makes some sense. One because the Giants might not want to commit to another pitcher for 5 years now that they have Blackburn, Beede, Blach, Stratton, Meija, Bickford, Johnson, and Coonrod waiting and rising up the minors. Two, the Giants already lost their first round pick, so now they would only lose their second round pick.
So why did the Giants give up on their draft pick? Evans did say that they would prefer to keep the pick. Yet the guys they went hardest after (per media coverage, Greinke and Samardzija, plus they brought in Zimmerman, as well as Samardzija, and Zobrist will be visiting soon). Perhaps they view next year's draft depth to be not worth keeping the pick? Or perhaps that is why the Giants went hard for Fox and a number of other IFA's this time, knowing that they anticipated losing the first pick due to a QO.
The Giants are also looking at Zobrist as well. We need a LF and his versatility around the infield would give Bochy a lot of options for mixing and matching. As well, given that Panik is one of the most asked for players in trade, the Giants could decide to make the trade, say for a pitcher (Indians reportedly asked for both Panik and Duffy for Carrasco), and use Zobrist at 2B. However, part of the reason being given that the Giants can spend big now is that having young producing assets like Panik and Duffy gives the Giants the ability to sign large deals like the Shark, and pursue another big free agent.
My calculations come out with $24.2M left to spend before reaching the luxury tax threshold, $29.2M left to spend, depending on where exactly they want to target their annual payroll at. As noted in my prior post, enough to get a mid-range signing like an Iwakuma or Fister, plus a nice bullpen addition like Soria.
I wanted to get this out now, I'll look at my thoughts about Samardzija in another post.