Most Wins Above Replacement
Since his first full season in the majors in 2006, Giants starter Matt Cain trails only Roy Oswalt among NL pitchers for most wins above replacement (NL pitchers, since 2006):
Cain, who is set to earn about $15 million in the last year of his contract, will receive a five-year extension for a guaranteed $112.5 million, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney.
The guaranteed money includes a $5 million signing bonus and a $7.5 million buyout in 2018. That year has a player vesting option for $21 million. If it doesn’t vest, it reverts to a club option.
Cain also receives a full no-trade clause.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean has said for years his priority is to keep his pitching staff intact for the long haul — and that hasn’t changed. Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum reached a $40.5 million, two-year deal in late January.
“Ensuring that Matt remained a Giant beyond this season was a top priority for the organization. Matt is an integral part of the team whose performance on the mound will be one of the keys to our success for years to come,” said Sabean said in a statement Monday.
Among pitchers, only the Yankees’ CC Sabathia and the Mets’ Johan Santana, both left-handers, agreed to larger contract. Sabathia got a $161 million deal from 2009-2015 that had an additional year and $30 million in guaranteed money added last fall. Santana agreed to a $137.5 million contract from 2008-13.
The previous record for a right-handed pitcher was Kevin Brown‘s $105 million contract the Dodgers gave him after the 1998 season.
Cain’s deal is also the second-largest for a pitcher who was not a free agent. Only Santana’s extension with the Mets tops it.
Cain’s annual average value of $22.5 million ranks sixth all-time and is second for right-handers behind Roger Clemens‘ $28 million in 2007.
SportsNation: Cain’s new contract
The Giants have given Matt Cain a contract extension of five years for $112.5 million. Did they break the bank, or is it a fair deal?
The 27-year-old Cain went 12-11 last season with a 2.88 ERA, reaching 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He also didn’t allow an earned run during the entire 2010 postseason, when the Giants pulled off an improbable World Series championship.
Cain, represented by CAA Sports, never named his price tag or the number of years he sought, other than to say during spring training he wanted “fair value.” Several other top pitchers around the majors have signed similar contracts for five years — Phillies ace Cliff Lee ($120 million), the Angels’ C.J. Wilson ($77.5 million) and Jered Weaver of the Angels ($85 million).
The Giants said their talks with Cain’s representatives were constant in hopes of coming to an agreement before the Giants open the season Friday at Arizona.
“The success of our franchise depends on developing and retaining homegrown talent like Matt Cain,” Giants president Larry Baer said. “I want to commend Brian Sabean, Bobby Evans, Matt and his representatives for their hard work to keep Matt in the orange and black. This is an exciting day for Giants fans everywhere and a fantastic way to kick off the 2012 season.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Sources: Giants make Cain richest right-hander
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