Keeping the Family Together

The Giants front office has wasted little time this off-season in keeping its pieces together from an incredible 2012 World Series run. Coming out of the 2012 season the San Francisco Giants General Manager Brian Sabean had several key components to assess in the months going forward in to the 2013 baseball season. The post-season roster contained a handful of players that were not tendered or under contract: Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence, Marco Scutaro, Jeremy Affeldt and Gregor Blanco among others were not under contract.

Sabean, often maligned for the contract he offered Barry Zito, has worked some of his recent magic in to the offseason. The aforementioned players all played vital roles in the Giants’ success last post-season. Blanco’s amazing defense, Pence’s “priest-like” role in motivating his teammates, Pagan and Scutaro setting the table were all integral elements in the Giants reaching post-season success, but the question remained: who stays, and who goes?

Well, as it turns out, Sabean has been pushing all the right buttons this off-season. Affeldt, Pagan and Scutaro have all been signed to 3 and 4 year contracts, insuring that for at least the next couple years the 2012 Giants world series winning team will remain intact.

As for the deals, I don’t have any real reservations about them. Affeldt received a 3 year, 18million dollar contract, or an average of 6 million per year. Affeldt over the last few years has been one of the anchors in the Giants bullpen. He has shown the ability to pitch in the biggest situations and come through, big time. While the amount might seem a little inflated – I would have offered closer to 13-15million over 3 years if I had the choice – his role in bringing two world series championships to San Francisco deserved a bonus, hence the additional 3 million dollars. Affeldt is only 33, and has shown little signs of slowing down as a setup man, or big-game reliever.

Pagan recieved a 4-year, 40million contract, and while I think the 4th year may be a bit much, if he continues to produce the Giants will have no trouble unloading his contract in the 3rd or 4th year. He’s a young 31, and 4 years would only take him to age 35. He hasn’t shown a lot of wear and tear on his body, and lead the MLB in triples last year, with 15. Leadoff hitters are a hot commodity, and many teams don’t have the table setters to match Pagan. For those that do, they don’t have his defensive ability. As San Francisco Giants fans know, a CF with incredible range a-la Andres Torres can be a huge advantage in the large confines of AT&T park.

Scutaro may be 37, but the 61 games he had with the Giants were second to none during that same span. He hit over .360, had 3 home runs and 44 RBI. His batting average and RBI production were second to only Buster Posey during that stretch of the season. Oh, let’s not forget, he did almost single-handedly win the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals. 3 years at 20 million may be a slight over pay due to the number of years, but hey, the Giants have money, right? Keeping this team together for the short term can prove to be a huge key in the Giants successes, in my opinion. Plus, I love Scutaro. Slight man-crush on him, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

Overall, Sabean, I’d have to say that you’ve done a fine job as GM, and the last 4 seasons have proved that.

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