The celebration is over, and we’re done reveling in the 2012 World Series championship (well, not really, but we’re ready to move on a little bit).
It’s time to start thinking about 2013 and decisions facing the Giants as they prepare to put together a team for next season.
The Giants finished the season with a payroll a little over $130 million.
So we’ll start with the money coming off the board in the form of players who will be free agents this offseason: OF Aaron Rowand ($11.5 million), 1B Aubrey Huff ($10 million – $2 million buyout = $8 million), RP Jeremy Affeldt ($5 million), OF Melky Cabrera ($6 million), 2B Freddy Sanchez ($6 million), OF Angel Pagan ($4.85 million), 2B Ryan Theriot ($1.25 million), RP Guillermo Mota ($1 million). Also 2B Marco Scutaro, although the Rockies paid most of his $6 million salary.
Put that all together, and you remove about $44 million off the board for 2013.
But then you have to add raises due players: SP Matt Cain (+$5 million), SP Barry Zito ($1 million), SP Tim Lincecum ($4 million), SP Madison Bumgarner ($190K), 3B Pablo Sandoval ($2.5 million), SP Ryan Vogelsong ($2 million).
That equals $11.69 million.
And then you have to factor in the eight players who are arbitration-eligible and their projected raises (according to MLB Trade Rumors): OF Hunter Pence (+$3.4 million), C Buster Posey ($5.3 million), IF Emmanuel Burris (same), RP Sergio Romo ($2.1 million), RP Jose Mijares ($700K), RP Brian Wilson (same), RP Santiago Casilla ($3.2 million), RP Clay Hensley ($600K), OF Gregor Blanco ($800K), IF Joaquin Arias ($300K).
That equals $16.4 million.
So if you take the money coming off the board and add back the money due in raises in 2013, it leaves the Giants will about $16 million in available cap room IF the Giants maintain their payroll at around $130 million.
That likely would not be enough to re-sign Scutaro and Pagan, the two free-agent Giants the team is most interested in signing back.
How do they create more room?
Well first, they don’t tender contracts to all of their arbitration eligible players. At the top of that list is reliever Brian Wilson.
Wilson made $8.5 million last season after making just one appearance before undergoing his second Tommy John surgery. Wilson vows to be ready for opening day, but nothing is certain. And even if he does come back, in what form will he take?
Given those questions, is it worth paying someone at least $7 million (the minimum Wilson would be due through the arbitration process)?
MoreSplashHits believes it would be wiser to non-tender Wilson and let him become a free agent. Then, the Giants could see if they could sign him back for much, much less.
The other option is to sign some players, like Posey and Romo, to contract extensions that could be backloaded and save the team money in 2013.
And, of course, the other option is to increase payroll, taking advantage of the team’s long string of home sellouts, and the boost in season-tickets sales and merchandising that comes from winning the World Series twice in three years. And, of course, trying to keep up with the free-spending Dodgers.
The answer likely will be a combination of the aforementioned options.