With the free agency period just a couple weeks away, the San Francisco Giants may have to say farewell to some of their most beloved franchise players. Playoff heroes like Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, and others have contracts that expired after this season.
Sometimes it is hard to justify ridding of fan favorite players who mean so much to a franchise. For instance, why would San Francisco ever let Lincecum go? The truth is that the league is a business in which each team has one job: to win. Although it is bittersweet that players must come and go in the baseball business, it is real life.
Call to the Pen
Often enough, players become eligible for free agency without the fans even becoming aware of it because of the complex rules that guide the free agency process. One day they are Giants for life and the next, they are wearing a new uniform.
The point is that it is essential for fans to know and anticipate when each player’s contract is going to end because the business side of the game plays a great deal in whether or not a franchise can remain successful. How long is All Star shortstop Brandon Crawford under contract? Will he become a free agent and leave San Francisco for more money or a change of heart, such as Pablo Sandoval?
These are some of the many questions asked and they are very easy to answer. Here is a list of each notable San Francisco Giants players’ contract with an idea of when they would be eligible to leave the Giants clubhouse for good.
Aug 3, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
#28 Buster Posey–Age 28: Signed thru 2021, 9 yrs/$164M (13-21)
Posey will be wearing the Orange and Black for at least six more seasons as the Giants front-office made one of the smartest decisions by locking their franchise player up early in his career.
#34 Andrew Susac–Age 25: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Because Susac’s rookie status is still intact through this 2015 season, the number one Giants prospect is not set to hit free agency until 2021, while he is arbitration eligible in 2018. (for more information of the details of arbitration and rookie limits, visit GoldenGateSports.com)
#9 Brandon Belt–Age 27: Arbitration Eligible
The young Giants first baseman cannot hit the market until 2018. Belt still has a couple more years in San Francisco before he can lobby for his big contract.
#12 Joe Panik–Age 24: Signed thru 2015, 1 yr/$523k (15); Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Jun 10, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson (3) is out as San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) completes the double play during the third inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
The beauty of the Giants infield is that, not only were they all drafted by the Giants and brought up through their system, but they are still all under the age of 28. Panik cannot test the free agency market until 2021.
#5 Matt Duffy–Age 24: Signed thru 2015, 1 yr/$509k (15); Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Although for now the Giants are set for the future with the majority of their infield not eligible to be free agents until 2021, the 2021 off-season will most likely eventually be a huge change in the franchise. Until then . . .
#35 Brandon Crawford–Age 28: Signed thru 2015, 1 yr/$3.18M; Arbitration Eligible
The 2015 All Star and Gold Glove candidate will be flashing the leather for San Francisco until at least 2018 when he can then test the market. If Crawford can continue to hit for power and maintain his stellar defensive play, his demand will be soaring as a shortstop of his caliber can be priceless.
#37 Kelby Tomlinson–Age 25: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Tomlinson is set to stay with the Giants for a while as he is still yet to break out of his rookie status.
#23 Nori Aoki–Age 33: Free Agent
The San Francisco front-office is reported to be leaning towards picking up their club option on Aoki. With Angel Pagan being a question mark, Aoki more than likely will be back in 2016.
#16 Angel Pagan–Age 34: Signed thru 2016, 4 yrs/$40M (13-16)
Whether Pagan will get traded or not, he is set to become a free agent after next season. This more than likely will be one of his last contracts with an MLB team.
Oct 19, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (8) makes a sliding catch against the St. Louis Cardinals during game five of the 2012 NLCS at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
#8 Hunter Pence–Age 32: Signed thru 2018, 5 yrs/$90M (14-18)
Before becoming a free agent in 2014, VP Brian Sabean locked up Pence through the 2018 season when he will then be age 35. Get used to seeing the unorthodox Praying Mantis out in right field for a few more years.
#7 Gregor Blanco–Age 31: Signed thru 2016, 2 yrs/$7.5M (15-16)
The “White Shark” has a contract that expires after next season, but barring a slump-filled blow up next season, expect Blanco to resign with San Francisco sooner than later.
#6 Marlon Byrd–Age 38: Free Agent; 2o16 vesting option
With San Francisco being reported to not want to pick up the veteran Byrd’s vesting option for 2016, this could mean that they plan on signing a big name outfielder this off-season. We will have to wait and see.
#40 Madison Bumgarner–Age 26: Signed thru 2017, 6 yrs/$35.56M (12-17) & 18-19 team option
The Giants front-office will automatically be picking up the team options in both 2018 and 2019. Therefore, cowboy Bum won’t have the option to leave San Francisco until 2020.
#18 Matt Cain–Age 31: Signed thru 2017, 8 yrs/$139.75M (10-17) & 18 team option
The injury prone Cain was given a much deserved contract in 2010, but his past few disappointing seasons has proved otherwise. If Cain continues to struggle, San Francisco will not pick up his 2018 option and he will be eligible for free agency for the 2018 season.
More from Around the Foghorn
- SF Giants sign veteran 1B John Nogowski to minor league deal
- SF Giants call on veteran LHP Scott Kazmir for big start against Padres
- SF Giants: Update on Alex Dickerson’s rehab assignment
- Atlanta claims SF Giants C Chadwick Tromp off waivers
- SF Giants: Could Johnny Cueto help down the stretch?
#13 Mike Leake–Age 27: Free Agent
I truly believe that resigning Leake needs to be a priority this off-season. Without a doubt, the rotation in general needs to be the highest concern for San Francisco.
#55 Tim Lincecum–Age 31: Free Agent
Whether Lincecum decides to return back home to his home state of Washington to pitch for the Seattle Mariners or if he and San Francisco can agree on a cheap contract to keep him in the City by the Bay, Lincecum will always be remembered as one of the greatest Giants pitchers of all-time.
#32 Ryan Vogelsong–Age 38: Free Agent
As one of the most inspiring San Francisco players, wherever Voggy goes he will always be a Giant at heart.
#22 Jake Peavy–Age 34: Signed thru 2016, 2 yrs/$24M (15-16)
Fans haven’t seen the last of the Peavy rages, as he is signed through the rest of next season. If San Francisco plays poorly enough to be out of the playoff race early, look for Sabean to move Peavy to a contender at the deadline.
Apr 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner against the Arizona Diamondbacks during opening day at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
#54 Sergio Romo–Age 32: Signed thru 2016, 2 yrs/$15M (15-16)
Romo is another 2017 free agent who will have at least one more year in a Giants uniform.
#46 Santiago Casilla–Age 35: Signed thru 2016, 4 yrs/$20.5M (13-16)
With the constant rumors of San Francisco looking for a more dominant and threatening closer, it is very possible that the 2016 season will be Casilla’s last in a Giants uniform.