Your 2010 Giants play their first spring game on March 3rd. The real thing starts on April 5th in Houston, and that's only 13 weeks away. So little time with all the work we have to do! We'll just have to soldier on manfully. David Pinto at Baseball Musings is doing an alphabetical look at major-leaguers called "Players A-to-Z." Yesterday he covered Matt Cain. There's a great Day-by-Day Database associated with the site that's easy to search, and you can get all your "splits" with a few clicks. Check out both links.
Later this month the arbitration figures will be exchanged, and the hearings will take place next month. Tim Lincecum will get a richly-deserved raise. For 2010, the Giants will spend $18.5 M on Zito, $13.6 M on Rowand, $10 M on Renteria, $6 M each on FSanchez and DeRosa, and $4.5 M each on Affeldt and Cain. That's $63.1 M. Brian Wilson and Jonathan Sanchez are, like Lincecum, looking at a salary case next month. I expect they'll get raises, too. They--together--cost about $1 M last season. Last year's payroll was $82.6 M, down from the 2005-2007 $90.2 M peak. If the three young pitchers come away with $20 M, that doesn't leave much to work with if you assume the Giants won't go over $90 million.
All the more reason to hope our young, cheap guys really deliver. They certainly did in 2009, with Pablo Sandoval joining the four aforementioned pitchers to give us an impressive Gang of Five. Breakout candidates for 2010 include Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner, of course, and we hope to get some impressive 'pen work from Sergio Romo, Waldis Joaquin, and Dan Runzler. We need a young batsmen, along with Buster, to step up and contribute some offensive value to the club. I don't see a free agent solution at this point, and the thought of Brian Sabean trading talent away for another FSanchez gives me the shudders. So it's John Bowker and Travis Ishikawa and Nate Schierholtz, my friends, unless I'm leaving somebody out. Our pitchers were the 4th best in baseball last year in FIP and 2nd best in ERA. They were 1st in ERA+ and 2nd in WHIP. Will they do it again? One thing for sure, we are certainly counting on it.
Happy New Year!