During last weekend’s Fox telecast of the Giants-Phillies game, the announcers were discussing how Melky Cabrera has been the Giants’ team MVP in 2012.
And we couldn’t agree more.
Consider through Monday, Cabrera had 45 multi-hit games this season. In those games, the Giants are 30-15.
In 17 games this season, Cabrera has failed to get a hit. In those games, the Giants are 6-11.
You could even make an argument for Cabrera for NL MVP.
And that leads to a basic conclusion: The Giants MUST re-sign Melky Cabrera.
During the All-Star break, Cabrera expressed his desire to remain in San Francisco next year and beyond, and he let his representatives know that.
Earlier this year, Giants GM Brian Sabean said the “stars would have to align” for the Giants to re-sign Cabrera.
So MoreSplashHits will help Sabean out with a little astronomy.
Or is it astrology?
The Giants have a $130 million payroll in 2012.
In 2013, they are locked into almost $80 in guaranteed contracts ($22 million for Tim Linceum, $20m each for Matt Cain and Barry Zito, $5.7m to Pablo Sandoval, $5m to Ryan Vogelsong, $4.25m for Javier Lopez, $2m buyout for Aubrey Huff and $750K to Madison Bumgarner.
They will have nine players who will be arbitration eligible. Three of those are prime candidates to be non-tendered: Brian Wilson, Eli Whiteside and Emmanuel Burriss.
That leaves six others: Buster Posey, Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo, Clay Hensley, Nate Schierholtz and Joaquin Arias. It is reasonable to think the Giants can sign all of those players for a combined $18 million.
That puts the payroll at $98 million for 13 players.
There are four pre-arbitration players who almost certainly will be back: Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Hector Sanchez and Gregor Blanco.
That puts us at about $103 million for 17 players.
Eight more players left to fill out the roster and $27 million left to make that happen … if they hold the line on payroll. More if they decide to go a little higher.
And what type of players would these eight players need to be?
- A starting second basemen
- Two starting outfielders
- A reserve infielder
- A reserve outfielder
- Three bullpen pitchers
If they filled five of those spots with players within the organization or non-tender free agents on the cheap, they could probably do so for another $4 million.
Now, we are at $107 million. Still another $23 million to work with.
Now how much will Cabrera cost to bring back?
There are the high water marks for outfielders, like the $16.5 million average for the deal the Dodgers gave Andre Ethier for five years. Or the $13 million average the Orioles gave Adam Jones.
I’ve seen a couple of bloggers who put Cabrera’s worth at around $12 million a season. If the Giants could sign Cabrera for five years, $60 million, they should do so in a heartbeat.
However, we believe Cabrera will go a bit higher.
So even if we look on the high end and put Melky’s deal at $15 million, it would still leave $8 million to add another outfielder and starting second baseman.
A little tight, especially if the Giants have any hopes of bringing Angel Pagan back as well.
With a little creativity, the Giants front office could find a few extra bucks in the budget. And, as we mentioned, this budget is based on the high end of potential deals.
Also, there are two seasons of sellouts bringing in a bucket full of cash. So the front office could afford to spend a few extra bucks on players.
Because we know the Dodgers will.