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.