Outfielder Andres Torres agreed with a one-year contract for $2.2 million with the Giants, avoiding arbitration for the last arbitration-eligible Giant.
Torres had asked for $2.6 million, and the Giants countered with $1.6 million. We heard reports earlier in the week that it was $1.8 million. But if it were $1.8 million, then $2.2 is the midway point. And if that’s the case, the two sides would have agreed to a deal on Tuesday. With the $1.6 million number, $2.1 million is the midpoint. So then it makes sense that Torres would hold out for an extra $100K, plus he can earn another $100K in bonuses.
Torres’ deal puts the payroll for the 25-man roster right at $114 million. With a half dozen or so players who will earn slight raises when their contracts are renewed, plus potential bonuses, the payroll could easily sit around $115 million for 2011, a jump of about $20 million over 2010.
OK, MoreSplashHits gets a “close enough” on the arbitration case for Javier Lopez.
The left-handed reliever and the Giants agreed to terms for a one-year contract for $2.375 million on Thursday, leaving the Giants with just one unresolved arbitration case.
MoreSplashHits projected a compromise of $2.4 million after Lopez submitted a salary request of $2.875 million and the Giants countered with $2 million.
Lopez earned $775,000 last season pitching for the Pirates and the Giants.
According to the Associated Press, Lopez can earn an additional $50,000 each for pitching 55 or 60 innings in the deal he received Thursday. He went 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 27 outings for the Giants, who acquired him at the trading deadline from Pittsburgh.
Thursday’s agreement leaves Andres Torres as the only unresolved arbitration case. Torres is seeking $2.6 million, while the Giants countered with $1.8 million. Halfway is $2.2 million. Hank Schulman of the Chronicle reports the two sides are close to a deal.
Lopez’s deal leaves the Giants’ 2011 payroll at $112.145 million.
Four of the six arbitration-eligible Giants players settled with the team on the first day that arbitration figures could be exchanged.
So you may wonder why then did Andres Torres and Javier Lopez not settle.
The answer is simple: Age.
Cody Ross is 30, Jonathan Sanchez is 28, Ramon Ramirez is 29, Santiago Casilla is 30.
Javier Lopez is 33. Andres Torres will turn 33 on Jan. 26. Lopez and Torres have fewer years of earning potential, and need to be paid now.
The way the arbitration process works is simple enough. A team will look at a player and figure out what would be a reasonable salary, then offer an arbitration figure that is less than that. The player does the same, except the player will offer a figure that is higher. Then when the two teams come together, they’ll find a middle-ground figure that is close to what each side figured was a reasonable salary.
If the two sides don’t come together on an agreement, it’s because one side — or both — think they can make a strong case for their arbitration figure.
With Lopez, it’s a case of making up for lost time.
Lopez spent much of the early part of his career making small splashes in the majors with the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox from 2003-2007.
It wasn’t until 2008 that he started making some money through arbitration, making $840,000 in 2008 with the Sox and $1.35 million in 2009.
But in 2009, he was designated for assignment by the Red Sox and eventually optioned to the minors, where he spent the bulk of 2009.
This had an adverse effect on Lopez’s earning potential by limiting his service time. When he was released by the Sox after the 2009 season, it took him out of the arbitration process.
He signed with the Pirates for $775,000 in 2010. And while he had a solid season with the Pirates and Giants, he finished the season five days shy of having enough service time to be eligible for free agency.
The Giants offered Lopez $2 million in arbitration. Lopez countered with $2.875 million. The Giants will argue their number is closer to what other middle relievers are getting in arbitration. Lopez will likely point to his service time and argue what other middle relievers are getting in free agency.
We’re guessing the Giants were hoping to settle around $2.2 million, while Lopez was looking for something in the area of $2.6 million. Look for the two sides to settle around $2.4 million.
Now Torres is 33. And because he spent so much of his career as a journeyman minor leaguer, he has never earned more than $426,000 in a season. So he’s due a big raise, whether he earns what the Giants offered ($1.8 million) or what he proposed ($2.6 million).
That fact means the Torres probably feels he’s got nothing to lose, and much to gain.
This is his first go-around in the arbitration process, meaning he won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season, when he’ll be heading into his age-36 season.
The McCovey Chronicles has a clever post about the Torres arbitration process. To read it, click here.
Bottom line here is that the Giants were probably hoping to settle at $2 or 2.1 million. Halfway is $2.2 million, but the Giants should offer Torres an early birthday present and give him an offer of $2.35 million and call it good.
Woohoo! Finally, some news from the Giants to report.
- Outfielder Cody Ross signed for $6.3 million, a raise over his $4.45 million 2010 salary. The NLCS MVP was acquired in a waiver claim from the Marlins on Aug. 22. He hits 14 home runs with 65 RBI and hit .269 last season.
- Starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez signed for $4.8 million after earning $2.1 million in 2010. Sanchez was 13-9 with 3.07 ERA in 33 starts last season.
- Relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez agreed to a $1.65 million, after earning $1.155 million last year. Ramirez was acquired in a trade with the Red Sox last season. He went 1-0 with 0.67 ERA in 25 outings with the Giants.
- Also, relief pitcher Santiago Casilla reportedly agreed to a one-year deal for $1.3 million. Casilla made $400,000 in 2010, when he went 7-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 55 innings last season.
Several reports have said that the Giants have offered a three-year, $37 million deal to pitcher Tim Lincecum as the two-time Cy Young Award winner’s arbitration hearing approaches on Friday.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Lincecum’s camp has countered with a deal for more than $40.
Neither side has confirmed those numbers, and the Giants are only saying that talks are “ongoing.”
It is encouraging that the two sides are talking and there’s a good chance this will get resolved. The question is how much more than $40 is the Lincecum camp talking about. But one would have to think the the two sides are now about as far apart on a three-year deal as they were with the one-year deal that will be decided Friday in arbitration.
The Giants signed closer Brian Wilson to a one-year deal for $4,437,500, avoiding arbitration.
No shocker here. The two sides weren’t that far apart. This figure represents the halfway mark between two numbers submitted.
That leaves Tim Lincecum as the Giants’ lone unresolved arbitration case.
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum will seek a record-breaking salary via arbitration, asking for $13 million.