Ryan Vogelsong's 2011 season was, obviously, silly nonsense. Ryan Vogelsong had Ryan Vogelsong's background. Then, at 33, he claimed a job in the Giants' rotation and finished with a lower ERA than Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels and Ian Kennedy, and also a ton of other guys. Ryan Vogelsong was like a walking, breathing World Series Game 6, before World Series Game 6.
Something that was kind of easy to forget, though, was that Vogelsong wasn't a rookie. His service clock didn't revert to zero during those years away from the major leagues. He was poised to become a free agent after the 2012 season, so to prevent that from happening, the Giants have done this:
#SFGiants sign Ryan Vogelsong to two-year contract with club option for 2014
More, from Jon Morosi:
Source: #SFGiants' deal with Ryan Vogelsong is two years (plus option) at $8 million.
Vogelsong was in his last year of arbitration eligibility. So the Giants have bought out one arbitration year, and one free agency year, with an option for a second.
At that price? Hell of a deal at that price, given what Vogelsong just did. Vogelsong's ERA was 2.71. His peripherals suggested an ERA more in the mid-3s, but that's still a valuable starting pitcher.
Of course, the thing about Ryan Vogelsong is, who the hell knows? Maybe Vogelsong blows up now. In a bad way. It's possible. The Giants, though, like him, and Vogelsong probably likes them back, and I think the odds are that this deal is fine. Odds are that Vogelsong remains effective enough and the Giants stay pleased.
I have to say, on one hand, I'm happy for Vogelsong and the Giants, but on the other, I'm a little bummed out that this arbitration case isn't going to happen. That would've been weird.