Monday, April 16, 2012

Brian Wilson Done for '12, Bumgarner Extended

We've been discussing it a lot over at our Giants Blog, as most bay area sports fans know Giants star closer Brian Wilson is done for the year and headed for another Tommy John Surgery. The Giants changed the vibe a bit though Monday, giving an extension to Madison Bumgarner that will keep the lefty in a Giants uni along with Matt Cain through 2017.

The deal is in the neighborhood of $35 million, so the 22 year-old lefty will stand to make an average of $7 million per season, starting next year, in a deal that should look very good in a couple of years as long as Madison keeps on the same path he's been on since 2010. For such a young arm, he's already so accomplished, dominating a World Series game, winning a ring and giving the Giants another horse in the rotation behind Cain and Lincecum. Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of this signing, and am completely behind it. It also gives the Giants financial certainty with yet another one of their core players for the next couple of seasons, as they map out a plan on whether or not they extend Tim Lincecum long-term or even give Posey a deal to buy him out of his arbitration years like they did Sandoval. Unfortunately, one guy I think this deal doesn't bode to well for, is Brian Wilson, as he's due to become a free agent after the season, and after undergoing Tommy John, could miss a good chunk of 2013 season as well. There's also no telling as to what kind of pitcher Wilson will be assuming he does heal up in a year and a half. This will already be Tommy John Surgery number 2 for the 29 year-old, and it's rare you see a guy who relies on hard stuff like Wilson does, successfully comeback from two of these types of surgeries in a matter of 8-9 years.

So, as one key piece of this Giants pitching staff could be headed for career ending surgery, and may wear a Giants uniform again out there, another has been assured that he's headed absolutely nowhere for the next 5 years. It's a bittersweet ending to a tumultuous weekend, one in which the Giants continued to play well, except for Sunday, despite the news of losing their 9th inning ace. Also, it's still uncertain who exactly Bruce Bochy will go to when the Giants face their first save situation coming up here. He's mentioned guys from Mota, Affeldt to Cassilla and Romo. It's rare you see a closer-by-committee approach work for a team with playoff aspirations, but that's how Boch could play it until he feels comfortable with a certain guy. My choice would be for either Romo or Affeldt. They could slide Cassilla into Romo's 8th inning slot and keep that back-end strong. Then again, they could do what they did last year, and go with Cassilla, keeping Romo as their primary set-up. As I said though, I expect Boch to play match-ups, as he so often likes to do with his relievers, and if there's a situation where there's 3 lefties scheduled to hit in the bottom of the 9th when the Giants need to preserve a lead, he'll likely go with Javier Lopez or Affeldt. After thinking about it further though, I think the Giants need to go after another closer, or bring up Heath Hembree. I just think their bullpen really works as is, and throwing someone else into the 9th inning, out of their normal role, could have a ripple effect on the whole pen.

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