Remember when the Giants are 12-8 after three weeks? Remember that the Giants did that despite Buster Posey hitting his stride?Remember how we thought the offense would really take off once Buster found his groove?
Well, Buster found it last week, hitting .429 (9 for 21) with two home runs, 6 RBI, three walks, just one strikeout. He had .500 OBP and a 1.310 OPS.
Pretty good huh? So what did the Giants do last week? They went 1-5.
This further proves that baseball is a team game, and the Giants need production up and down the lineup to succeed.
Last week’s player of the week — Brandon Crawford — hit .217 last week. Week 2’s POY, Marco Scutaro, hit .185.
We hope this isn’t a trend because we need Buster to stay hot.
Oh, and the Giants’ second best hitter last week? Any guesses? How about Brandon Belt (.389 avg, .476 OBP, 1.087 OPS).
After the Giants tied the game in the eighth inning and two out, Joaquin Arias came up against right-hander David Hernandez.
Arias got his second consecutive start at first place against a left-hander in place of the struggling Brandon Belt.
But with a right-hander on the mound in Hernandez, I wondered why manager Bruce Bochy didn’t replace Arias with Belt in the eighth.
But Bochy showed why he’s a better manager than I am.
In the top of the ninth, after the Diamondbacks put the go-ahead run on second, Bochy made the double-switch. In came Sergio Romo from the bullpen for Jose Mijares. The other part of the double switch was Belt in for Arias at first base, meaning Belt would bat third in the bottom of the ninth.
After Romo ended in the top of the ninth on one pitch, Andres Torres led off the bottom of the ninth with a single. Brandon Crawford sacrificed him to second, bringing Belt to the plate.
Belt came into Monday batting .183. Not great, but there had been signs of improvement. Over his previous six games, Belt was hitting .294 (5 for 17), but six of his 12 outs were by strikeout.
Bochy along with hitting coaches Hensley Meulens and Joe Lefebvre met with Belt during batting practice Monday, telling Belt to slow down his body movements at the plate.
Well, the advice worked, as Belt slapped a pitch from Tony Sipp into left-center for a game-winning single.
“When you get to this point you feel like you’ve heard a lot of things, but sometimes you forget it, and it’s nice to have another set of eyes to remind you,” said Belt, who added that Monday’s single was his first big-league walk-off hit.
Despite the big hit, it’s unlikely he’ll be in the lineup Tuesday, as Arizona sends another left-hander in Patrick Corbin. Look for Posey at first base, with Hector Sanchez or Guillermo Quiroz catching Matt Cain.
Posey took a shot to the neck off a foul ball in the second inning. But Posey also delivered some shots to the ball with his bat.
His first-inning double helped the Giants tie the game 2-2. He also had another RBI double in the sixth inning when he was robbed by a nice catch by former teammate Cody Ross in his first game at AT&T since leaving the Giants as a free agent after the 2011 season.
But Posey got the last laugh, blasting a two-run home run over the center-field wall, tying the game against at 4-4. It was Posey’s second home run in as many games. The normal mild-mannered Posey even showed a little emotion with a pump fist around the base paths.
We figure he’s earned a day off from catching duties for that.
Seven innings, zero runs. Sound familiar?
Well, of course, that’s what Barry Zito did in his first start this season at AT&T Park.
And in his second.
And in his third.
You know how they post Ks on the right-field wall at AT&T Park for strikeouts by Giants pitchers. Well, maybe when Barry Zito pitches at AT&T, they should post zeros instead.
Zito improved his string of scoreless innings at home to 21 innings this season with another shutdown performance Sunday in a win over the Padres.
It is also the 10th consecutive Barry Zito start at AT&T Park that the Giants have won, dating back to last postseason and regular season.
Sunday’s outing dropped Zito’s season ERA to 3.42, and it was the second win this season by the Giants that didn’t require a save or a walk-off hit. The other game also was a Zito start.
Who would have thought the day when Zito starts is the day the bullpen gets some rest?
And there was some more good news for the Giants. Buster Posey smacked his first home run since Game 4 of last year’s World Series — and that includes all of spring training — when smacked a two-run shot to left in the fifth inning. It was also the Giants’ first home run this season not hit by a guy named Pence (4), Sandoval (3) or Crawford (3).
- Chad Gaudin pitched the final two innings without giving up a run to lower his ERA to 0.73.
- It was the Giants’ major league-leading fifth shutout win of the season. Three of those wins were games started by Zito.
- It was the Giants’ second consecutive three-game sweep at home.
- The win improved the Giants’ record against NL West foes to 8-1. They’ve won eight in a row since losing the season-opener to the Dodgers.
- Because of his ugly outing in Milwaukee, Zito is averaging just under 6 innings per start this season. At that pace, he would pitch 189.1 innings if he makes 32 starts. Important to note because his $18 million option for 2014 kicks in if he pitches 200 innings this season.
Friday was a big day for the San Francisco Giants, when they signed Buster Posey through the 2021 season, perhaps if 2022 if an option is picked up.
The deal, worth as much as $189 million, gives the Giants some cost certainty going forward. The offseason after the 2013 season will be a key one, as the contracts of Barry Zito, Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence come off the board. It also leaves the Giants with three big holes in their lineup to fill, if they choose not to re-sign any or all of those players.
The Giants now have almost $90 million committed to guaranteed contracts for the 2014 seasons. If you add in a fairly light class of arbitration-eligible players and renewed contracts, the Giants could be sitting at $100 million, with a possible $40-$50 million to dedicate to free agent signings and re-signings.
These signings before opening day are becoming a regular occurrence. In the final days leading up to opening day in 2012, the Giants signed Matt Cain to a six-year, $127.5 million extension. Two weeks later, they signed Madison Bumgarner to a five-year, $35 million deal.
Here’s the breakdown of Giants with guaranteed contracts (club options included, except Barry Zito’s $18 million option in 2014) year-by-year (source: Baseball Reference):
2014 ($89.5 million, 10 players): Posey ($10.5m), Cain ($20m), Angel Pagan ($10.25m), Bumgarner ($3.75m), Jeremy Affeldt ($6m), Marco Scutaro ($6.67m), Pablo Sandoval ($8.25m), Barry Zito ($7m-buyout), Santiago Casilla ($4.5m), Sergio Romo ($5.5m), Ryan Vogelsong ($6.5m-option). Arbitration: Jose Mijares, Gregor Blanco, Joaquin Arias, Tony Abreu, Dan Runzler. Free agents: Barry Zito, Tim Lincecum, Hunter Pence, Javier Lopez, Andres Torres, Chad Gaudin.
2015 ($71.2 million, 7 players): Cain ($20m), Posey ($16.5m), Pagan ($10.25m), Bumgarner ($6.75m), Affeldt ($6m), Scutaro ($6.67m), Casilla ($5m). Arbitration: Blanco, Arias, Abreu, Runzler, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Hector Sanchez, Eric Surkamp. Free agents: Sandoval, Romo, Vogelsong, Mijares.
2016 ($62.4 million, 4 players): Posey ($21.4m), Cain ($20m), Pagan ($11.25m), Bumgarner ($9.75). Arbitration: Blanco, Abreu, Belt, Crawford, Sanchez, Surkamp, Brett Pill, George Kontos, Sandy Rosario, Francisco Peguero, Jean Machi. Free agents: Casilla, Affeldt, Scutaro, Arias.
2017 ($52.9 million, 3 players): Posey ($21.4m), Cain ($20m), Bumgarner ($11.5m). Arbitration: Belt, Crawford, Sanchez, Surkamp, Pill, Rosario, Peguero, Machi. Free agents: Pagan; Blanco; Abreu, Runzler.
2018 ($54.4 million, 3 players): Posey ($21.4m), Cain ($21m-option), Bumgarner ($12m-option). Arbitration: Pill, Rosario, Peguero, Machi Free agents: Belt, Crawford, Sanchez, Surkamp.
2019 ($33.4 million, 2 players): Posey ($21.4m), Bumgarner ($12m-option). Free agents: Cain, Pill, Rosario, Peguero, Machi.
2020 ($21.4 million): Posey ($21.4m). Free agent: Bumgarner.
2021 ($21.4 million): Posey ($21.4m)
2022 ($22 million): Posey ($22m-option)
OK, this much we know: Buster Posey will remain a San Francisco Giant through the 2021 season — at least — and that’s a good thing.
In the two years in which Buster Posey has manage to finish the season on the field, the Giants have won two world championships. In the previous 56 seasons in which Posey was not on the field as season’s end for Giants, they have won zero titles.
How can you put a price tag on that? Well, the Giants tried to Friday, when the signed the 2012 National League MVP to an extension. The exact amount, well, we aren’t quite sure. It could be $161 million or $167 million or $189 million or something completely different.
Here are what the different media outlets are reporting:
Chris Haft of SFGiants.com is calling it an eight-year, $167 million extension. From what we can tell, this is inaccurate. The extension is for eight years on top of the one year he was already signed for, with a total value on the nine years at $167 million.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported the deal as an eight-year extension for $161 million. That extension on top of the $8 million he was due to make this season, it takes the total value to $167 million. Wait! What? I’ve never been good at math, so I’ll need to check with my 8-year-old son when he gets home, but I always thought 161 + 8 = 169.
CSNBayArea.com got a little closer to the right number by saying Posey will be paid $167 million over the next nine season.
But the San Jose Mercury News wins the prize for the most accurate reporting, although it took them about an hour to get it right. Here’s the breakdown (and the numbers add up).
- Signing bonus: $7 million
- 2013 – $ 3 million (the one-year deal for $8 million Posey signed during the arbitration process gets ripped up).
- 2014 – $ 10.5 million
- 2015 — $16.5 million
- 2016 — $20 million
- 2017 — $21.4 million
- 2018 — $21.4 million
- 2019 — $21.4 million
- 2020 — $21.4 million
- 2021 — $21.4 million
- 2022 — $22 million option, $3 million buyout
So if the option is picked up, the deal would be worth $189 million over the next 10 years. Posey will average $18.56 million a season over the next nine years, $18.9 over 10 if the option is picked up in his age 35 season. Posey just celebrated his 26th birthday on Wednesday. Happy Birthday, Buster.
When you consider that the Giants will pay Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum about $20 million each this season, it makes this season look like a great deal.
It also makes it look fairly evident that Posey’s days as a full-time catcher are limited.
You remember the 2010 season when Buster Posey and the Braves’ Jason Heyward were hooked in a heated battle for the NL rookie-of-the-year award?
Posey went on to take the honor. In 2011, Heyward struggled through a sophomore slump, while Posey had his second season ended in May with a disastrous ankle injury.
In 2012, we all know Posey returned to start the All-Star game and went on to win the NL MVP. But Heyward wasn’t all that bad. He hit .265 with 27 home runs.
Well on Friday, when teams were scheduled to exchange arbitration numbers, Posey and Heyward both settled on one-year deals with their teams during their first go-round in arbitration.
Posey agreed to an $8 million deal. Heyward signed for $3.65 million.
It’s clear that Posey deserved to get more than Hayward. But more than twice as much? It makes you wonder how much Posey would have cost to sign this season if he didn’t miss most of the 2011 season.
MoreSplashHits projected Posey would get about $5.9 million in his first year. So the $8 million deal the Giants agreed to must have meant that Posey was prepared to ask for as much as $10 million in arbitration.
It also shows the need to get Posey signed to longer deal. He has three more years of arbitration after this year, meaning he could be looking at salaries of $12 million, $16 million and $20 million-plus in the coming years.
The Giants also agreed to contracts with reliever Jose Mijares and outfielder Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco.
Blanco signed for $1.35 million, which is just slightly higher than the $1.3 million figure MoreSplashHits projected.
Mijares signed for $1.8 million, again higher than the $1.6 million MoreSplashHits projected.
Pence agreed to $13.8 million, which was spot on with what MoreSplashHits projected.
The Giants haven’t gone all the way through the arbitration process with a player in several years, and it seems unlikely that they will allow any negotiation go to the arbitrators this year. Coming off a World Series championship that was won as much with team chemistry as talent, the Giants likely were willing to pay a little more to keep harmony in the clubhouse.
Friday’s deal leave the Giants with two unsigned arbitration-eligible players: reliever Sergio Romo (projected at $3.6 million) and infielder Joaquin Arias (projected at $800,00).
The San Francisco Giants now have a six-pack of NL MVPs in their history.
Buster Posey became the first Giant to be selected NL MVP since Barry Bonds won his fifth as a Giant in 2004. Posey collected 27 of 32 first-place votes to easily outdistance runner-up Ryan Braun of the Brewers, last year’s MVP. Braun picked up three first-place votes. Yadier Molina of the Cardinals, who placed fourth behind the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen, picked up the other two. Posey had 422 points, followed by Braun (285), McCutchen (245) and Molina (241).
Posey was second on four ballots and third on the other.
Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger and Andy Rubin of ESPN New York voted for Molina (both had Posey second). Oddly enough, the two St. Louis Post Dispatch writers (Rick Hummel and Joe Strauss) voted Posey first. Hummel had Molina second, Strauss had him third behind Braun.
Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago had Posey third (behind Braun and McCutchen). Braun’s other two first-place votes came Tom Haudicourt and Todd Rosiak, both of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (both of them had Posey second).
Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence each received one 10th-place vote (Hunter Pence??)
Posey finshed with 24 home runs, 103 RBI, 39 doubles, a league-leading .336 average, .408 OBP and .549 OPS in 148 games for the Giants this season. He placed 114 games at catcher, 29 at first place and three as the DH one season after a serious ankle injury ended his season in late May of 2011.
Here’s a look at other San Francisco Giants NL MVPs:
Barry Bonds, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
- 1993, Bonds had 46 HR, 123 RBI, .336/.458/.677;
- 2001, 73 HR, 137 RBI, .328/.515/.863;
- 2002, 46 HR, 110 RBI, .370/.582/.799;
- 2003, 45 HR, 90 RBI, .341/.529/.749;
- 2004, 45 HR, 101 RBI, .362/.609/.812
Jeff Kent, 2000
- 33 HR, 125 RBI, .334/.424/.596
Kevin Mitchell, 1989
- 47 HR, 125 RBI, .291/.338/.635
Willie McCovey, 1969
- 45 HR, 126 RBI, .320/.453/.656
Willie Mays 1965
- 52 HR, 112 RBI, .317/.398/.645
And we can’t forget the New York Giants NL MVPs
Willie Mays, 1954
- 41 HR, 110 RBI, .345/.411/.667
Carl Hubbell, 1934, 1937
- 1933 – 23-12, 1.66 ERA, 156 K
- 1936 – 26-6, 2.31 ERA, 123 K