Surprise, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (18) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
6 Total Updates since April 2, 2012
about 1 year ago Article 2 comments
Matt Cain has signed a long-term contract extension with the San Francisco Giants, avoiding free agency. Inspired by this news, we reflect upon a single home run he allowed.
about 1 year ago Update 1 comment
Welcome to part two of a two-part series in which we share with you FanGraphs' thoughts on Matt Cain's brand-new contract extension with the San Francisco Giants. In part one, we turned to Wendy Thurm, who thinks that both Cain and the Giants got a good deal. Here in part two, we turn to Dave Cameron, who thinks that Cain is the clear winner, and that the Giants will have to cross their fingers.
At $22 million per year over the next five years, Matt Cain essentially needs to avoid all problems and continue to pitch as well as he has previously. He might do just that, but there’s a real risk that his arm is going to fall or that his performance will head the wrong way sooner than later. There’s just too much risk here for a team like the Giants to take on this kind of contract, especially with so many other pressing needs in the organization.
It's easy to argue against long-term contracts for pitchers on the basis that they're pretty unpredictable, and that they can get hurt or get worse at any time. It's easy to argue like this because the numbers bear it out. Teams often do end up regretting long-term contracts given to pitchers. But they don't always, so while the Giants have reason to be nervous, in the end this could all be peaches. Delicious, crisp peaches.
about 1 year ago Update 1 comment
Welcome to part one of a two-part series in which we share with you FanGraphs' thoughts on Matt Cain's brand-new contract extension with the San Francisco Giants. The former free-agent-to-be signed for five years and a lot of money, and it stands to reason that people have opinions. Here's an opinion, from their and our Wendy Thurm:
This is a good deal for both Cain and the Giants. Cain has financial security, a pitching coach with whom he works incredibly well, and a fan base in San Francisco that adores him. The Giants have locked-up one of the best right-handed starters in the game for the next five, maybe six, seasons. Sure, $21 million AAV is a lot of money. But the Giants were looking at a lot of payroll flexibility after the 2014 season and a farm system light on starting pitching prospects.
Good for Cain, and good for the Giants! Wendy's opinion is a positive one. Now stay tuned for part two!
about 1 year ago Article 6 comments
With Matt Cain signing a huge extension, Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke have a pretty good idea of what they're worth now.
about 1 year ago Update 2 comments
I got a kick out of this:
RT @cwyers If your response to the Matt Cain extension involves xFIP I'll be by later to pour coffee on your keyboard.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) April 2, 2012
Excellent! A preemptive strike!
Hey, I used to be one of those people who thought Matt Cain was just exceptionally lucky, since his ERAs didn't match his "peripheral" statistics. Of course, at the same time he's been exceptionally unlucky, as his W-L didn't match his ERAs.*
* Matt Cain has a losing career record! He's a loser!
Maybe you used to be one of those people, too. And maybe you've concluded, as I have, that Matt Cain might have been a little better than we thought.
Still, he was lucky last season. After consistently giving up 20 home runs per season throughout his career, last season Cain gave up nine home runs. And there's simply no reason to think he's become the sort of pitcher who will give up very few home runs in every season, for the simple reason that he's not a ground-ball pitcher. Not remotely. Cain's ground-ball rate last year was 42 percent, which placed him well into the bottom half of National League pitchers.
He's a fly-ball pitcher who has, as we've noted many times, actually done a pretty good job of keeping the great majority of those fly balls in the field of play. But last season was simply beyond the pale and won't happen again.
Which is why five years and $112.5 million seems like an awful lot of money. History suggests that Cain is a $15-million pitcher rather than a $22-million pitcher.
Ah, but things might look quite a bit different in the coming seasons. Matt Cain's not likely to become a better pitcher, but baseball's economics might take a real turn for the better. As lucrative new TV deals are struck by the individual clubs, the market value for players should jump faster than we're used to.
Generally speaking, big contracts in recent seasons have matched up pretty well with the players' projected performance (absent injuries, of course, but nobody likes to think about those). We're now seeing contracts that seem out of line with projections, which leads to thoughts of front-office stupidity.
I don't think it's that, though. I think the front offices just know more about future revenues than we know. They can see what the market for players is going to look like in the coming years, and (I think) they're seeing a lot more money for everybody. Thus, the rush to lock up their players before they get even more expensive.
about 1 year ago Update 3 comments
The Giants spent the offseason declaring that they couldn't afford to sign big-name hitters because they were squirreling their cash away to keep their young pitchers. Matt Cain was the first priority, as he was going to be a free agent after the 2012 season. And when the offseason started to come to an end, and with Cain and his agent declaring that they did not want to negotiate after Opening Day, Giants fans were a little nervous.
But Cain will be a Giant for a long time. The five-year extension he just signed starts after the 2012 season, and it will take the right-hander through the 2017 season. If he's still around and productive then, the Giants will hold a team option on Cain for the 2018 season, presumably when he's driving a flying car to the stadium because it's 2018. A breakdown of the deal from Alex Pavlovic:
The Giants just announced that they have agreed to a five-year extension with right-hander Matt Cain, who was scheduled to be a free agent after this season. The deal is worth $100 million and includes a $5 million signing bonus.
The deal keeps Cain in San Francisco through the 2017 season and includes a club/vesting player option for 2018. There is a $7.5 million buyout on the option.
It's a semi-confusing deal, but the main points are that a) Matt Cain is wealthy, and b) Matt Cain is probably going to be on the Giants for a long time, especially considering that he has a full no-trade clause on his contract. And don't forget that Cain is still under .500 for his career. This is a glorious moment in the revolution against the oppression and tyranny of won-loss records, brothers and sisters. Rejoice!