Over the past couple of seasons, SF Giants pitcher has Logan Webb has emerged as one of the top arms in the National Legaue. With three years of team control remaining, including this upcoming season, the desire for an extension is increasing. For what it is worth, the Giants have seemingly broached the subject with Webb but what would an extension look like?
Could recent Houston Astros extension be a template for SF Giants hurler Logan Webb
That has quietly been a topic this offseason. After missing out on Aaron Judge and the deal for Carlos Correa falling through, fans want to make sure that one of the best young pitchers is locked up.
Of course, it bears mentioning that the Giants have been reluctant to hand out long-term deals since Farhan Zaidi took over as team president of baseball operations in November of 2018. Since then, the longest deal they have inked has been a three-year contract to several players like Tommy La Stella, Anthony DeSclafani, and Taylor Rogers.
However, the optics of a Webb extension are different. He is under team control for three more seasons. The basis for an extension will at least be for three years and anything else tacked on will buy out free-agent seasons.
While the Giants have been reluctant to hand out long-term deals to pitchers in their 30's like Kevin Gausman and Carlos Rodón, I do think a deal that extends the righty through his age-30 season makes sense for both pitcher and team.
The Houston Astros just completed a similar deal recently. On Friday, the team announced that they had extended pitcher Cristian Javier to a five-year, $64 million deal. Webb and Javier are similar in a lot of ways that this can be a template.
Javier has posted a 3.05 ERA across three seasons with the Astros. This includes a stellar 2022 postseason where he started the first six innings of a combined no-hitter in Game 4 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
On the other hand, Webb has tallied a 2.96 ERA since the start of 2021. He was phenomenal in two games against the Los Angeles Dodgers where he allowed just one run in 14.2 innings in the 2201 NLDS.
The similarities do not stop that. Both Webb and Javier, before the extension, are in their first year of arbitration, meaning that they have two years of team control remaining after this one. Plus, they are both entering their age-26 season in 2023. Webb and Javier are about 150 days apart in terms of age.
There are plenty of parallels between Javier and Webb, which makes the former's deal a template for the latter. Javier's deal carries a cap hit of $12.8 million per season, which is a bargain for the World Series champion.
If he were a free agent, he would receive substantially more than that on an annual basis, but his deal still factors in the idea of arbitration raises. He is scheduled to earn $3 million in 2023 followed by likely raises he would have received through arbitration over the next two seasons. Then, he will receive $21 million per season in the final two years of the contract.
The Giants do not have to follow that template exactly, but teams often factor in projected raises through arbitration with these types of deals. This is to say that while Webb likely has a market value of $21 million per season, he would not see that over five years in an extension.
The four-year veteran is slated to earn $4.6 million next year, so if the Giants extend him, it will likely factor in raises he would receive over the next two seasons after this one. Buying out the free agency years is where Webb will begin to see his market rate.
If Webb wants a better value, then the Giants could make it a six-year, which would effectively buy out his first three seasons in free agency. The overall cost of the deal would increase quite a bit, but it still still going to be a relatively bargin in terms of cap hit. Similar to what the Astros have on the books with Javier over the next five seasons.
Spring training is a time when the pressure to complete contract extensions begin to accelerate. Players often do not like negotiating in the middle of the season, so hopefully, the Giants can make some progress. At the very least, they have a solid template to use with Webb.