Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hot Stove Update: Brandon Crawford Gets Paid!

The Giants today announced an agreement with Brandon Crawford on a 6 year/$75 M contract which includes his last 2 years of arbitration eligibility and tacks on an additional 4 years.  The deal includes a $1.2 M signing bonus, $5.8 M in 2016, $8 M in 2017 then $15 M for the next 4 years.  The salaries for the first two seasons are right at where arbitration estimates have him.  The contract also includes a full no-trade clause.  The AAV on the deal for "Luxury Tax" calculations is $12.5 M for each of the 6 seasons.  This tacks on an extra $6.5 M in "Luxury Tax" salary for 2016 but gives the Giants a $2.5 M break in the final four seasons.

Brandon Crawford has steadily improved his numbers each season since breaking in with the Giants in 2011, but 2015 was a true breakout season as he hit 21 HR's and led MLB in SABR Defense, the defensive metric used for 25% of the criteria for Gold Glove Awards.  To top if off, Crawford won both the Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger Award for shortstops, the first time a Giants player has done that since Barry Bonds!

So, is this a good deal for the Giants or not?  Salary in MLB seems to be tied to a large extent to WAR. Crawford's fWAR over the past 4 seasons has progressed, 2.0, 2.3, 3.1, 4.7.  Players are valued at approximately $6 M/WAR point.  So, even if you believe 2015 is likely to end up being Brandon Crawford's career year, it is also likely that he can produce at a roughly 3 WAR rate for several more years.  Whether that will extend to his age 34 season in the final year of his contract, may be a stretch, but it is certainly not impossible   At the same time, Crawford's performance has steadily improved up to this point and it is possible that he has yet to hit his peak year.  No matter how you cut it, it is likely that he can produce at least an average of 2 WAR per season over the life of the contract which is all he has to do to earn his keep.

Add in the value of keeping a homegrown, locally born and raised, popular player and you have a very nice deal for the Giants and a great deal for Brandon Crawford and his family.  His boyhood dream was to play SS for the SF Giants and now he has a real chance to not only do it for his full career, or at least the majority of it, but possibly become the greatest Giants shortstop in franchise history.  Talk about a dream come true!

29 comments:

  1. Love the player, love the contract, great for both sides. Great time to be a Giants fan.

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  2. This is a nice bargain. One more year like 2015 and he could have easily received over $100MM. Shortstops who have the glove and power are extremely hard to find. Also he is notoriously good against LHP. Even if his bat regresses a little this is still a good deal. This will be a selling point for a SP to have a great middle infield locked up for several years in Crawford and Panik.

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  3. Hell yeah it's a great deal.

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    1. It's a great deal with some risk for the Giants, but no more so than any multi-year deal. It's a very fair deal for both the organization and the player which makes it a great deal. He's a homegrown player in the truest sense and is a fan favorite, so it's a great deal for the fans too.

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  4. I'm expecting Belt to sign a similar team friendly contract to keep the Brandons and their families together. Git'er done Evans.

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    1. as a result of his many health issues, i dont think belt gets as good of a deal

      bacci

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    2. I'm with Bacci on this. l am not at all sure the Giants are ready to give Brandon Belt a contract like this.

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    3. And I am just as sure the Giants would like to sign Belt to a team friendly contract. Whether he gets the same deal is not the point. The point is the strategy of locking up your homegrown talent to team friendly contracts before they get to FA. The Giants develop from within, foster a team atmosphere - a camaraderie - and take care of their own. Some may view some of their recent re-signings negatively, but it does show they take care of their own, and it makes an impression on the players.

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    4. Looks like talks are under way regarding a similar deal.

      From Alex Pavlovic on twitter:

      https://twitter.com/AlexPavlovic/status/667081034496765952

      http://www.rotoworld.com/player/mlb/6360/brandon-belt

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    5. it isnt just the concussions. most of his injuries have been due to bad luck, but they keep happening. some guys are just injury prone

      bacci

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  5. The same day Crawford's extension hits the press, articles about Panik's improved lower back and Arroyo's maturity in the AFL are released as well. All of this a day after Duffy earned national headlines for his 2nd place finish in ROY voting. Man, do the Giants have themselves an infield?! Regardless of the team's pitching situation, I can't wait to watch this group again next year. If Evans & co follow through on their promise to improve the rotation this winter, I think we're looking at one of the best teams in the NL.

    Is it baseball season yet?

    Cove Chatter

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    1. Might Arroyo's maturity in the AFL lead to the Giants putting a first baseman's glove under his Christmas tree?

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    2. That is a nice "thinking outside the box" idea. I guess you could throw in Parker or Williamson in that boat. Arroyo is going to be blocked by Duffy, Panik and Crawford for several years. He will either have to learn a new position or become trade bait. Tomlinson proved he could be a decent everyday player but even he is blocked with Panik coming back. This is a good problem to have. Many young potential stars waiting in the wings.

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    3. Arroyo's not tall enough for a 1B glove. But Evans did hint at LF apparently. Giants take dings for taking SS's that get dismissed as utility or 2Bs... They're laughing all the way to the bank. I'm very happy Arroyo got taken instead of the 3 SS's the Cards took - all to much bigger fanfare later in the draft.

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    4. I agree that Arroyo is not tall enough to play 1B. I don't know what he is listed at, but in person, he looks well under 6 ft.

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    5. I have seen Arroyo listed at 6 feet 1 inch and 200 pounds. APGiantsfan

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    6. Arroyo does not look 6'1" on the field.

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    7. I just love that Arroyo is consistently batting 3rd in the Scottsdale lineup. Pretty awesome even if he's in a little bit of a slump recently.

      Alan

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  6. good deal for all involved

    the no trade was a given...cant trade a kid who almost cried when he heard the giants were moving, or who has his name on a brick, right outside the park

    the if is a great selling point to fa pitchers

    we really have all been waiting for this...when the development system really kicked in and gave us everyday players of worth

    hats off to the scouts, minor league coaches, sabey sabes, evans and bochy

    and i think baer was pretty clear in his statement....this will be the giants philosophy from here on out

    create home grown players and work darn hard to keep them

    bacci

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  7. I'm very glad for Crawford since he's really been a great team guy. Remembering the days of Johnny "oops, went through my legs again" LeMaster, Crawford is certainly huge for the defense first team. My only observation is what does that mean for Arroyo? He did pretty well at San Jose and AFL, so you'd think he'd open up in AA. Assuming 3 years to get to the pros, you could see where he's the back up to Crawford in year 3/4 of his contract. Does this effectively block Arroyo given the no trade? Good problem to have, since we know what we've got in Crawford but not so much in a prospect, but I could see it being a bit of an issue (especially since 2nd and 3rd area also under club control for years).

    Belt won't get more than a 1-2 year deal. Too many freak injuries IMHO to do something longer (notwithstanding we don't have a really good back up there not named Posey). I do think ultimately in 2-3 years, Posey could move to first despite his objections now if we need to move on from Belt. I certainly could see an IF of Susac, Posey, Crawford, Panik and Duffy (with Kelby as one back up and Garcia as the other). But of course, we have a wasteland as a farm system.

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    1. As to Arroyo, something tells me we'll see him in left field by the end of the year. Marty Lurie watched the kid in the AFL and and summarized him thus: "He can hit!"

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  8. Gee, remember a couple of years ago? When a lot of comments (more on other Giants sites, but some here) were about how bad Crawford was? That he 'couldn't hit'? That we should replace him?
    Funny, it almost looks like the team knew what they were doing.
    Great deal!

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    1. I think we all knew he had the potential. He would have these hot streaks that would come and go. Like in 2013 when he hit 5 HR in April and then only 4HR the rest of the season. Last year he had his struggles but he really had a great year overall.

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    2. i dont recall a single negative comment on this board. you must have us confused with macchron (who said he would never stick) and fangraphs

      bacci

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    3. Yeah, I'm not sure what you are remembering from this site, but I've always been a Crawford guy with an occasional fret about his legs looking a bit heavy and the timing of his swing being a bit off.

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  9. This is what a great franchise does - keeps their homegrown talent. Congratulations to Crawford and his family. I will enjoy watching the Giants Homegrown(tm) Infield for years to come.

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  10. Here’s what Evans said about the potential of Belt receiving a Crawford-like extension:

    “We’ve talked about it with Brandon (Belt) and his representatives already. To be clear, the concussion is not a concern. He’s confident and doing his normal routine and rehabbing his knee as well. The timing may be adjusted more toward the typical one-year deal (prior to an arbitration hearing) and follow up in spring training for discussions for a possible multiyear. We’ll see how it goes. Ultimately, it takes a player who is interested in making the commitment that Crawford is making today. I think (Belt) is open to that and we’ll have to see how that plays out. It may not happen this year. It may happen up the line, and obviously there’s an advantage to working through something like that sooner rather than later. But the timing will get figured out.”

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    1. Yeah, that does not sound like a similar extension for Belt is right around the corner or anything.

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  11. Clint in Anaheim HillsNovember 18, 2015 at 11:30 PM

    I saw this interesting note from Evans in Baggs Crawford article today,

    The Giants had time to hammer out something in a short window with Crawford because the free-agent market is not exactly Black Friday right now. But some numbers are being thrown around, Evans said.
    The more illuminating comment Evans made was about the trade market. It seems that teams are trying to pry away the Matt Duffys and Joe Paniks of the world, which the Giants are not looking to deal away. They would rather part with prospects.
    “Not as many teams are looking for prospect-type deals,” Evans said. “But there are some out there that we’re ready to explore.”

    This is interesting to me that Giants would state to the media that they don't want to deal from their major league roster, but would prefer to deal prospects. I find it even more fascinating that they would name Duffy and Panik as those being most asked about. I don't think there is any chance of Duffy being dealt, but Panik could be a centerpiece to build a deal around to land a stud starting pitcher. This sounds like Sabean-speak by Evans to let everyone know they value their All Star 2B Joe Panik and rookie of the year runner up Duffy and the price to acquire either is going to be sky high. I think this nugget may have been left on purpose to raise Panik's value and setup trade offers for the cost controlled 2B. I dream that they are talking to the White Sox about Chris Sale or Oakland about Sonny Gray to pair with Bumgarner.

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