Skip to content

Matt Cain and the Giants agree to $112.5 million extension

Apr 2, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

Matt Cain Getty Images

First Joey Votto and now Matt Cain.

Said to be working hard on contract negotiations over the weekend, the Giants just made things official with Cain by announcing a five-year, $112.5 million extension with a sixth-year vesting option.

Cain was already set to earn $15 million this season in the final year of a three-year, $27 million extension signed in March of 2010. That deal covered Cain’s final two arbitration eligible seasons and his first year of free agency. This five-year extension will keep him in San Francisco through his age-32 season in 2017 and the 2018 option includes a $7.5 million buyout.

Obviously any $100 million-plus investment in a pitcher is extremely risky and $22 million per season is a ton, especially for a team that learned (and is still learning) the hard way with Barry Zito, but limiting the commitment to five years and avoiding Cain’s mid-30s lessens the Giants’ risk somewhat and he’s been remarkably consistent with a 3.35 career ERA and at least 190 innings in each of his six full seasons.

On a related note, the Phillies would no doubt be thrilled if Cole Hamels accepted a five-year, $112.5 million deal. Hamels has better secondary numbers than Cain and has pitched in a hitter-friendly ballpark, but their raw numbers are very similar: 3.39 ERA in 1,161 innings for Hamels. 3.35 ERA in 1,317 innings for Cain.

  1. spudchukar - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Now Matt Cain is in the best shape of his life!

    • kiwicricket - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      Now Matt Cain can be any shape he wants

  2. Kevin S. - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Yeah, if I’m Hamels the bidding starts at 5/$120MM after this.

    • phillyphever - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      Works for me. Here’s a better question: what’s Kershaw and Lincecum worth after this deal?

    • paperlions - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      I think both parties (Hamels and Phils) probably already know that the number will be in this range…somewhere between $22-25M/year….the question seems to be if they can agree on the number of years….the team that throws out the most years will be the one that probably gets him.

      • phillyphever - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:57 PM

        From what I read, they might have a deal in place, but they’re waiting for the season to start to sign because of luxury tax issues.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:28 PM

        Went out with the old CBA. Here’s one link I found (can’t find the one someone tweeted over the last few days though).

        Last season, the Boston Red Sox chose to announce an extension with Adrian Gonzalez in April of last season – after Opening Day – but had finalized the terms of the deal and agreed months before in an effort to avoid the luxury tax. That could be the case with Hamels.

        However, baseball sources say that the luxury tax penalty doesn’t work that way anymore under the new CBA, so the Phillies could go about their business as is. But perhaps with a new system in place, the Phillies are simply waiting for Opening Day before they announce a nice long-term deal for Hamels.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        wow formatting fail, and why the F did that first link appear?

  3. kiwicricket - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Got to hand it to Sabe’s…get’s straight back onto the horse and gets out the 100Mill pitcher check-book again. Balls.

    • micker716 - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      Why not. Not his money.

  4. phillyfan4ever - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    They had to get this deal done or they would have watched him shoot down to LA

  5. smcgaels1997 - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Matt Cain has been their workhorse since 2003…he deserved this, and this isn’t the Zito doubt if he hit free agency he would have gotten more $$.

    • areyesrn - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      most definitely deserves it…I just see the dude confound the hitters each and every time

    • Lukehart80 - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      It doesn’t really change your basic point that he’s deserving of a big contract, but Cain was pitching in single-A in 2003. He has pitched at least 190 innings every season since 2006.

  6. rastaraider - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    F! Yes!!

  7. APBA Guy - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    I agree with SMC above, this isn’t Zito, whose numbers were trending in the wrong direction when he was signed by SF.

    Don’t forget after 2014, SF will have extra $$$ because their stadium will be paid off. They’ll get even more if they can run Oakland out of town and have the entire market to themselves.

    My guess, and it’s only a guess, is there is significant deferred money in at least the first couple of year’s of Cain’s deal.

    But Cain’s shown he’s worth the money with impressive durability and reliability.

    • phillyhatesyou - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:48 PM

      pretty sure oakland isn’t taking up much of the market out in the bay area

  8. sdelmonte - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    And thus there are fans all over the place who are disappointed. Especially in the Bronx (not that Cashman was necessarily thinking of chasing Cain) and Boston (where I think they would have moved the sun to get him).

  9. okwhitefalcon - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    As STL beat writer Joe Strauss so aptly put regarding the trickle down of Cain’s deal on Adam Wainwright:

    “Matt Cain’s extension could do for Waino’ what Ryan Howard’s extension did for El Hombre. In other words, #NoBueno for Cards.”

    If Waino proves healthy it may behoove thenCards ownership to get out in front of this one much like
    the Reds did with Votto today because all bets are off once they hit FA..

    • paperlions - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      Ryan Howard’s extension did nothing for Pujols. Zero, zip, nothing. Howard’s extension didn’t make Pujols better or teams bid more for him….for the 12 billionth time…teams don’t base their valuation of players on obviously horrible deals.

      The Cain deal is not horrible, it will also have pretty much nothing to do with Wainwrights next contract as Cain got about what a pitcher his age should…indeed, the relatively short duration of the deal is a good thing.

      • okwhitefalcon - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:55 PM

        I think Strauss is referring more to the timing of Howard’s deal as it pertained to Albert.

        Strauss has long believed the Cards sat on their hands regarding extending AP and could have had a deal done with him before the Phils did their deal with Howard.

        And I agree with you, teams don’t base their valuations on bad deals.

        Unfortunately, agents do.

      • paperlions - Apr 3, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        That may be….the worst thing for the Cardinals signing resigning Pujols, and perhaps Wainwright….other teams mega-TV deals.

  10. Reflex - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Is Hamels the only elite guy left in free agency after this season? This would seem to derail the plans of teams planning to add pitching via free agency next year…

    • okwhitefalcon - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      Grienke will hit the market as well I believe..

  11. uyf1950 - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    In my opinion the Phillies re-signing Hamels just got harder. If I’m Hamels and his agent I’m looking at a MINIMUM of 6 years/$140MM guaranteed and a possible 7 year vesting. They both are still very young, except Hamels is a better pitcher and a lefty.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:33 PM

      You’re insane. If you look at the numbers for Cain and Hamels they’re nearly identical, and Cain is actually younger. Contrary to what you just said Hamels is not a better pitcher and the fact that he’s a lefty, as evidenced by his stats, hasn’t given him a huge advantage over Cain in terms of actual performance. Remember, we’re not talking about projecting prospects here in which case being a lefty is a more valuable commodity: these are experienced MLB players with track records.

      I don’t understand where this notion comes from that Hamels should be able to command significantly more than what Cain got, unless you’re overvaluing him based on the fact that THE PHILLIES HAVE THE GREATEST PITCHING STAFF EVER ASSEMBLED and Hamels was part of it.

      • phillyhatesyou - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:00 PM

        dont know the numbers but hamels has pitched his entire career in a hitter friendly park whereas cain has pitched his whole career in a pitcher friendly park. too lazy to look up home/road splits but i’d have to say that goes into consideration. hamels probably has better overall stuff but cain certainly earned every penny of this contract

      • uyf1950 - Apr 3, 2012 at 5:47 AM

        Actually I’m valuing Hamels in relation to Cain based on their performances. Hamels has a better K’s to Walks ration and better ERA+ a lower WHIP and more overall K’s. And yes he is a lefty. BTW, all of his numbers are for the most part while pitching in a hitters ballpark. As for the difference in their ages it’s virtually insignificant Cain is less the 1 year younger than Hamels and both will be or turn 29 at some point during for 2013 season.

        But as I like to say everyone has a right to their opinion.

  12. uyf1950 - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Got to say if I’m the Phillies management I’m not feeling real good right about now. If Halladay’s 2014 option vest and they want to re-sign Hamels at the “market” price they could be looking at a payroll for just 3 pitchers (Halladay, Lee and Hamels) of over $65MM per year. Add in Howard’s $25MM, Papelbon’s $12MM and Rollins $11MM and just those 6 players come to over $113MM before any incentives. That’s a pretty good chunk of change even if you’re the Yankees with their revenue stream.

  13. bigdicktater - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Thank you Giants, thank you very much!

  14. Gamera the Brave - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    I love that 7 of the 25 comments were Phillies-related!

    Oh, and nice work Sabes!

  15. wj4122 - Apr 3, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Hammels loves this it always good for the bar to be raised for elite players…..for them at least! All I know is that whoever doesn’t sign there quality players before free agency the dodgers are going to eat them up! But kasten won’t make a stupid deal! Great day for the giants!!

  16. bbk1000 - Apr 3, 2012 at 6:20 AM

    The Giants should have kept Dusty as their manager, Cain’s arm would have fallen off years ago and they would not be forced to give him this money.

  17. whosgotitbetter - Apr 3, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    The Phillies dont even have the best pitching staff assembled this year, so how can they have the best pitching staff ever assembled?

    • aerodeo - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      I think seeingwhatsticks was being a bit sarcastic and poking fun at the consistently pro Phillies slant being discussed here.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. B. Crawford (2806)
  2. C. Correa (2580)
  3. Y. Puig (2515)
  4. G. Stanton (2472)
  5. G. Springer (2400)
  1. H. Pence (2327)
  2. J. Hamilton (2188)
  3. M. Teixeira (1985)
  4. H. Ramirez (1955)
  5. J. Fernandez (1930)