Giants

Giants sign Bumgarner, then reach out to Lincecum, Posey, too

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Giants sign Bumgarner, then reach out to Lincecum, Posey, too

SAN FRANCISCO The Giants arent done wrapping up theirhomegrown stars. They want to conduct more business with Buster Posey andTim Lincecum, too.

After completing Madison Bumgarners five-year extension,Giants vice president Bobby Evans touched base with the agents for Lincecum andPosey on Monday, and said there was mutual interest in keeping both stars inGiants uniforms for the longer term.

Really, it was to remind them of our view of them as apriority, Evans said. Its reiterating what they already know. Wed like tosee them as Giants into the future.

The Giants already tried to sign Lincecum to a longer-termdeal that would buy out his free-agent years. The two-time Cy Young Awardwinner preferred a two-year structure for the contract he signed over thewinter, which only bought out the remainder of his arbitration years. He canbecome a free agent after the 2013 season.

I asked Giants CEO Larry Baer what Bumgarners extensionmeans in terms of providing budget certainty when making another run atLincecum. Baer hinted strongly that the interest to extend Lincecum would waneif his performance slips.

Weve made no secret about our strategy, Baer said. Wewant to lock up as many homegrown players as we can. It doesnt mean well beable to lock up every homegrown player.

First and foremost, its a baseball evaluation. We loveTimmy and we came to an agreement on a two-year deal. But well continue toevaluate everybody, including Timmy.

Evans said Mondays call to Poseys agent was the firstoverture towards negotiating a multiyear deal for the cleanup-hitting catcher.

With Buster, we had really limited conversations to oneyear, said Evans, who signed Posey to a 615,000 contract in the spring.There will be a time we want to readdress that and Buster knows that, too.

However, Evans said he did not expect contract negotiationsto begin during the season.

Its not a good practice, said Evans, explaining thatBumgarners deal was an exception because the two sides had made substantialprogress before opening day.

Thats why I thank Madison and his agent (Tom Little) forfinishing what we started, Evans said.

Bumgarners contract has two structures to account for theuncertainty over whether he will qualify for arbitration after this season as asuper two player. The top 22 percent of players with two-plus years ofservice time gain an extra year of arbitration eligibility. (It used to be thetop 17 percent under the previous collective bargaining agreement.)

Bumgarner is currently not forecasted to make the super-twocut, but that could change if other players with similar service time get sentdown to the minor leagues this year.

If Bumgarner is not a super-two, hell make 750,000 in2013, followed by salaries of 3.75 million, 6.75 million, 9.75 million and11.5 million.

If Bumgarner does qualify, he will make 3 million in 2013,followed by salaries of 5.5 million, 7 million, 10 million and 12 million.

The contract also includes two club options for 12 millionin 2018 and 19, and both have escalators based on the Cy Young Award. IfBumgarner wins the Cy Young at any point during the contract, both option yearswould be worth 16 million. If he has a second- or third-place finish in the CyYoung balloting at any point, the options would be worth 14 million.

Two more things about the option years:

The Giants have a buyout of 1.5 million that can apply toeither option year. And the first option can become guaranteed (not a playeroption) if Bumgarner throws 200 innings in 2017 or 400 innings between 2016-17.

Doing the math: If Bumgarner is a super-two, he maxes outboth options and the Giants exercise them, the total value of the contractcould be worth as much as 70.5 million.

Oh, and Bumgarner has a limited no-trade clause in which hecan name eight teams annually to which he cannot be dealt. The no-trade takeseffect this season.

And two more things about the contract in general:

Bumgarners 560,000 contract for this season, which wassigned in March, remains unchanged. Except he gets a 1 million signing bonusin the extension, half of which is payable this year and half next year.

Bumgarner, 22, said the extension made sense for his familyand hes thrilled to know hell be part of the same rotation with Matt Cain foryears to come.

Hes been a mentor to me my whole career, Bumgarner saidof Cain, who signed his five-year, 112.5 million extension two weeks ago. Itllbe a good thing for both of us.

Baer and Evans both talked about Bumgarners outstandingaccomplishments as well as his professionalism and temperament on the mound.Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he couldnt be happier for Bumgarner, who willstart Tuesday against the Phillies.

Great news for all of us, Bochy said. To have two-fifthsof our rotation tied up is a special thing.

Bochy said Bumgarners makeup is off the charts. So is hisconfidence. Asked about the Phillies vaunted rotation, Bumgarner said hellstack up the Giants against anyone.

They obviously have a good one, one of the best, but whoknows how good we can be? Bumgarner said. We can be just as good, if notbetter.

Hunter Pence changing positions to accommodate Andrew McCutchen

Hunter Pence changing positions to accommodate Andrew McCutchen

SAN FRANCISCO -- Andrew McCutchen has spent his entire career as a center fielder. With a new team comes a new position. 

Manager Bruce Bochy confirmed on Tuesday that McCutchen will move to right field for the Giants, with Hunter Pence sliding over from right to left. Bochy said he talked to McCutchen about the plan -- one the Giants had throughout the McCutchen chase -- after Monday's trade. 

"I'm looking forward to right field," McCutchen said. "That's one place people can't pick on me saying that my defensive metrics are so bad. I'm looking forward to playing right. I know there's a lot of room out there to run, so it's definitely going to be almost like playing center."

McCutchen said he's looking forward to picking Pence's brain about patrolling right field at AT&T Park. Bochy has already spoken to Pence and said his longtime right fielder is on board with the plan. 

"He's just so excited about getting Cutch on this club that he's good with anything or whatever is best for this club," Bochy said. "So that's the plan right now."

McCutchen has played 11,621 defensive innings in his career and all but 115 1/3 of them have been in center field. He briefly moved to right field last season but shifted back to center when Starling Marte was suspended for testing positive for a banned substance. McCutchen was a Gold Glove Award winner in 2012 but his defensive metrics tailed off in recent seasons. He was worth negative 28 Defensive Runs Saved in 2016 and was at negative 16 DRS last season. 

McCutchen had wanted to stay in center in Pittsburgh, but said it's a new case with a new team.

"I wasn’t too keen on (moving at first) because I felt that I had more there, that I could do something there (in center)," he said. "I honored (the Pirates) once they wanted me to play a little shallower and that backfired on me. I was basically asking for another shot but I didn’t get that chance or opportunity. But now that I’m going into the Giants organization and this is something they want me to do, I’m all for it.

"San Francisco has a huge field. It’s bigger than PNC Park. They’ve got Triples Alley and it’s called Triples Alley for a reason. For me, it’s another center field. I’m moving over a little and if it’s saving my legs and I can get more stolen bases, I’m all game and I’m all for it.”

Pirates front office raves about McCutchen after trading him to Giants

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USATSI

Pirates front office raves about McCutchen after trading him to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — There was a sense of celebration within the Giants organization on Monday after the addition of Andrew McCutchen. He is easily their best outfielder, a potential solution atop the order, and a player who is known for being a tremendous presence in the clubhouse. 

If the Giants had any doubts, though, they surely felt better after seeing the quotes that came out of Pittsburgh. In a series of statements, Pirates officials made it clear this was a difficult trade to make, with chairman Bob Nutting calling it “one of the most emotionally agonizing decisions that we have had to make in my tenure.”

Nutting, in a statement, said that McCutchen’s smile and energy were infectious even as a teenager. Later, McCutchen got the Pirates to three straight postseason appearances. 

“He did so while always carrying himself with humility, dignity and grace,” Nutting said. 

Team president Frank Coonelly described the trade as painful. 

“(No) individual was more responsible for the success that we had from 2013 to 2015 than Cutch,” Coonelly said in a statement,” And no player was more disappointed than Andrew that we did not break through and win a World Series Championship for the City of Pittsburgh.”

McCutchen was Pittsburgh’s first-round selection in the 2005 draft and made his debut in 2009. In nine seasons with the Pirates, he was a five-time All-Star and a perennial MVP candidate. He won the award in 2013 and finished in the top five of voting for four consecutive seasons. 

General manager Neal Huntington said the decision to actually part with the franchise player was “incredibly difficult.”

“Watching Andrew patrol center field with grace, fly around the bases, drive the ball all around the ballpark, celebrate with his teammates or interact with his family, friends or fans has created lifelong memories for me and many, many others around the game of baseball,” he said.