San Francisco Giants Get Ready For Spring Training

The 2012 season is just around the corner, and the San Francisco Giants are looking for another deep postseason run.

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Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants Agree To Three-Year Deal

In a season full of tough news for the San Francisco Giants, Kung Fu Panda will be sticking in the Bay for awhile longer.

Pablo Sandoval has agreed to a three year, $17.15 million deal that'll keep him with the Giants through 2014. The deal lands him $3.2 million in 2012, $5.7 million in 2013, and $8.25 million in 2014 according to Andrew Baggarly. All in all, it's a relatively cheap deal for the talented Giants infielder.

Sandoval struggled in 2010 during the run of the Giants toward a World Series championship, but recovered to form in 2011, notching him his first All-Star bid. The Giants need a hitter like Sandoval to complement the excellent pitching San Francisco currently has in order to make another run at a title. And of course it's always good to have the fan favorite and the Panda hats sticking around as well.

To discuss Sandoval and the Giants, head on over to McCovey Chronicles.

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San Francisco Giants Ink Melky Cabrera, Santiago Casilla to One-Year Contracts

The San Francisco Giants avoided arbitration with two other key pieces of their team as newly acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera and relief pitcher Santiago Casilla were both signed to new one-year deals, according to MLB Daily Dish.

Cabrera, 27, joins the Giants in his 8th season in the big leagues, and will get $6 million for his services in 2012. The Melkman hit a very solid .305/.339/.470 with 18 dingers and 20 stolen bags last season for the Kansas City Royals, making only $1.25 million. Not a bad pay raise, no?

As for Casillia, 31, he’s getting a nice bump in pay as well by earning $2.2 million in 2012, almost a million dollars more than he made in 2011. His new contract also has around $200,000 in performance bonuses. Casilla finished the season with a 1.74 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 51 2/3 innings pitched for the Black and Orange.

Some noteable names still on the arbitration docket for the Giants: Sergio Romo, Pablo Sandoval, and of course, Tim Lincecum.

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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San Francisco Giants Sign Angel Pagan To One-Year, $4.85 Million Deal

The San Francisco Giants avoided arbitration with newly acquired outfielder Angel Pagan on Monday as both sides have agreed upon a one-year, $4.85 million deal according to the Associated Press's Janie McCauley.

Pagan, 30, batted .262 with seven home runs and 56 RBIs last season, taking over in center field after Carlos Beltran headed for the Giants midseason. His numbers were down from his 2010 posting of .290 BA, 11 hr and 69 RBI, but his switch-hitting abilities coupled with his speed make him a nice candidate for the lead-off spot the Giants have so desperately needed.

Pagan's deal also includes $150,000 in performance bonuses: $50,000 each for reaching plate appearance benchmarks of 550, 600 and 650 respectfully. Still, Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly had another way to look at the signing of Pagan:

The Giants still have six arbitration eligible players left to deal with, including Tim Lincecum, so getting Pagan out of the way is at least one less thing to worry about for San Francisco. Lincecum and the Giants hit the negotiation table on Tuesday as both sides try to hash out some numbers in what should be a historic arbitration case for the two-time Cy Young award winner.

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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Ryan Vogelsong Signed By San Francisco Giants To Two Year Deal

The San Francisco Giants will get at least one deal done to appease the fanbase. Ryan Vogelsong will be with the club for a few more years. According to Jon Morosi, the deal amounts to $8 million for two years plus the option, which is not at all bad value for a pitcher who could be experiencing a career resurgence. It also avoids an arbitration case which would've been hard to sort out.

Vogelsong was one of the few bright spots of a painful 2011 campaign for the Giants, finishing with an impressive 2.71 ERA with a 1.25 WHIP for the team. Vogelsong lost a couple of games because the Giants would provide him with no run support. It made sense to lock him up a little longer to try and ensure the pitching staff remained as strong as possible for the next few seasons.

So the Giants have at least one of their best pitchers back from last year's rotation. Will they now be able to have to the flexibility to try and lock up Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum to long-term deals?

To discuss Vogelsong and the Giants, head on over to McCovey Chronicles.

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2011 Winter Meetings: San Francisco Giants Trade Andres Torres, Ramon Ramirez to Mets For Angel Pagan

The San Francisco Giants have reportedly made their first move of the 2011 winter meetings as they traded outfielder Andres Torres and relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez to the New York Mets for outfielder Angel Paganaccording to Joel Sherman on Twitter.

Can confirm that #Mets deal of Pagan to #Giants for Torres and Ramirez is done
Dec 07 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

 

As sad is is to see the saga on Andres Torres end in San Francisco, both him and Ramirez with arbitration eligible, and with them off the books give the Giants more wiggle room to make some other moves. 

Pagan hit a respectable .262/.322/.372 for the Mets in 2011, along with 7 homers, 56 RBI and an OPS of .694. He also stole 32 bases and brings a lot of speed to the depths of AT&T's outfield, and likely will take over as the Giants lead-off hitter. The one area of concern is his defense, committing 10 errors for New York last season. 

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.


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2011 Winter Meetings: Giants News and Notes For Day One

There were a lot of questions heading into the 2011 MLB Winter Meetings in Dallas this year for the San Francisco Giants, many of which had some light shed on a solution during the first day down in big D

First and foremost, the Giants did not place a bid on Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, as emphatically stated by GM Brian Sabean:

We did not bid on the Japanese shortstop. Did not. N-O-T. Enough said."

OK, glad that's cleared up. Now to other business:

Both Manager Bruce Bochy and Sabean feel the team is in need of a right-handed reserve infielder who could take over for Brandon Crawford instead of him facing left-handed pitching. But that market is rapidly declining in free agency as  Clint Barmes, Willie Bloomquist, Jerry Hairston Jr. already got their deals from other clubs, while Michael Cuddyer is asking for three years and $30 million, and Jimmy Rollins will probably ask the same. This leaves the Giants in a tough position when it comes to free agents:

"We could be leaning to the trade route," Sabean said.

They also noted that the window of opportunity may be closing on signing Carlos Beltran and that Cody Ross will likely not return because he wants a three year deal and the Giants will only give him a one year deal.    

"Without getting into specific dollars, we only have so much to spread. ... You have to make do with what the blueprint presents itself to be financially. That's what we're trying to do...Until we get a team on the field and start the season and score more runs, you're never comfortable with the offense we have, given what our low water mark was last year," Sabean said.

Another area the Giants are looking is for a fourth outfielder as well, which presents a multitude of options. The Giants have apparently set up a meeting with Ryan Ludwick who could be another Veteran to replace Pat Burrell in the platoon, though Andres Torres or even Gary Brown could become that person eventually. 

As for extensions for Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, the team made contact with Lincecum's camp recently but nothing more, though should continue along this winter. Even if it finally reaches arbitration, Sabean will be not be trying to trade the two-time Cy Young winner

"There's no reason to think that way, we control him for two years." Sabean said. 

As for Matt Cain, his extension talks may be a bit pressured due to the fact that he will be a free agent after net season. He's already under contract for 2012 unlike Linecum, so Timm'ys possibly arbitration comes first and will talk to Cain as soon as he's ready to do so. 

"It could go into Spring Training." Said Sabean. 

Some other quick notes: 

-Freddy Sanchez has begun a throwing regimen, the first time he's done so since back in August before his shoulder surgery. He is likely to be back 100% for Spring Training.

-Bochy said he was comfortable with Nate Schierholtz as his every day right fielder. 

-The Giants didn't' shop' Jeremy Affeldt per se, instead they sent out an e-mail to gauge offers after getting so many calls about him. 

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles. 

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San Francisco Giants Acquire Melky Cabrera, Trade Jonathan Sanchez to Royals

Rumors were just beginning to swirl that the San Francisco Giants were willing to put starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez on the trade market. Apparently, general manager Brian Sabean had his finger on the trigger already.

According to the Kansas City Royals twitter feed amongst other sources, the San Francisco Giants have officially traded Jonathan Sanchez and minor leaguer Ryan Verdugo to the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Melky Cabrera.

Coming off a injury plagued season, Sanchez went just 4-7 with 4.26 ERA along with a 66/102 BB to K ratio, and undoubtedly was seen as expendable with the emergence of Ryan Vogelsong to the starting lineup. It's always tough to let a guy go that has a no-hitter and a world series ring with the Franchise, but sometimes a fresh start is best for all.

As for Cabrera, the 27 year old Dominican Republic native,  he will likely be the Giants starting center fielder next year after batting .305/.339/.470 with 18 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 155 games last season for the Royals. He will undoubtedly add a spark to the Giants offense, though his lack of defensive range in the expanses of the AT&T Park outfield may become an issue. But, they needed some more bats, and this was a great start. 

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles

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San Francisco Giants Offseason News: Giants Re-sign Javier Lopez, Pick Up Jeremy Affeldt's Option

Only days after the World Series and the San Francisco Giants are getting busy on the offseason market. 

The team announced on Sunday that relievers Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt will be wearing Black and Orange next season, two key pieces to the dominant Giants bullpen that won it all just one year ago. 

Lopez, the left-handed, side-armed specialist signed a new two year deal worth $8.5 million, earning half ($4.25 million) in both 2012 and '13. 'The Night Train' had a tidy 2.72 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 2011, along with 40 strikeouts in 53 innings pitched. His left-on-left specialty tag would lead some to believe that his price tag may have been a little high, but his quality .163 average against left handers is one of the best in the biz, and fits in well with the personel group that includes Brian Wilson, Sergio Romo, and Santiago Casilla

Let's not forget about Affeldt, who got his $5 million dollar option picked up by the Giants today as well, is another important relever that is a welcome sight returning to most Giants fans. The big lefty went 3-2 with a 2.63 ERA in  67 appearnces in 2011, along with three saves along the way. He was one of the most efficient down the stretch, giving up only three earned runs over his last 22 and 1/3 innings before an unfortunate hamburger incident cut his season a few weeks short. His 1.21 ERA after the All-Star break was seventh best amongst National League relievers with a minimum of 20 innings.

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles to see what's going down during the offseason. 

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