Cory Gearrin

Arb-eligible players should tack on about $14 million to Giants payroll


Arb-eligible players should tack on about $14 million to Giants payroll

SAN FRANCISCO — There are years when you look at the Giants’ arbitration list and you can easily point to a few salaries that can be shed. This isn’t one of those years. 

The Giants have six arbitration-eligible players this offseason and the list includes their starting second baseman (Joe Panik) and four pitchers who should make up the chunk of their bullpen (Sam Dyson, Hunter Strickland, Will Smith and Cory Gearrin). The sixth member of the group is Tim Federowicz, and while he would make sense if Nick Hundley doesn’t return, the Giants can probably punt their backup catcher decision down the road a bit. 

Assuming they tender contracts to the first five, the Giants will be on the hook for about another $14 million next year. MLB Trade Rumors puts out arbitration projections each year that have proven to be pretty close to accurate. Here are their numbers for this year’s arbitration eligible Giants: 

Dyson: $4.6 million
Panik $3.5 million
Smith: $2.5 million
Strickland: $1.7 million
Gearrin: $1.6 million
Federowicz: $1.3 million

If you take Federowicz out of the mix, that’s $13.9 million for five members of next year’s team. The Giants already have about $166 million committed for 11 players when you pick up the Madison Bumgarner and Matt Moore options and assume Johnny Cueto and Pablo Sandoval are back, so, basically, you can see why management has talked about adding via trades instead of free agency. 

Pre-arb players like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach, as well as some spread-out contracts, ease the tax burden a bit, but the Giants are still inching up on the Competitive Balance Tax ($197 million in 2018) for the fourth consecutive year. The 50 percent tax rate they paid last season is a big reason why guys like J.D. Martinez were never an option in left field, and why you can probably cross him off your wish list this year, too. During an interview that aired on this week’s Giants Insider Podcast, team president and CEO Larry Baer addressed the CBT concerns. 

“That (tax) is something that’s punitive financially but it’s also punitive from a player acquisition standpoint, because if you’re in the CBT you then have penalties sprinkled through the collective bargaining agreement that affects the draft choice compensation, affects the pool of dollars you can use to sign international players and a couple of other areas,” he said. “It hurts you from a player acquisition and player development standpoint, so you have to be mindful about that, but if there’s an opportunity we’re not going to let the CBT stand in the way.”

Before this season, team officials talked about the desire to dip under the tax for a year — either this offseason or next — and reset those penalties. They obviously never thought the season would go the way it did and they would be sitting here in October with so many holes to fill, but here we are. For more from that interview with Baer, you can download the Giants Insider Podcast here.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' walk-off loss to Rockies

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' walk-off loss to Rockies


DENVER — The Rockies are in a funk right now, one that has them in danger of giving up a wild card spot that has seemed a lock all season long. Enter the Giants. 

A misplay in the outfield opened the door for the Rockies to get a 4-3 walk-off win. Charlie Blackmon kicked off the ninth with a high pop-up to left center. The outfielders were playing on the track, and Mac Williamson dropped the ball as he made a diving attempt. Two walks — one a smart intentional pass for Nolan Arenado — loaded the bases and a walk of Carlos Gonzalez ended the game. 

The Giants have lost nine straight games at Coors Field, the last two via a walk-off. They haven’t won here since Sept. 6 of last season. That’s no way to go through life. Anyway, here are five things to know … 

—- Joe Panik hit one off the second deck facing in the first and Denard Span hit the exact same shot two innings later. Both players reached double-digit homers, giving the Giants five players with ten or more. Panik needs one more to set a new career-high. 

—- Span and Panik, hitting first and second, combined for six hits. The rest of the Giants combined for one. 

—- Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-4. He is hitless in his last 33 at-bats. That is the longest streak by a Giant since Johnnie LeMaster made 37 consecutive outs in 1984. 

—- Chris Stratton was charged with three runs on eight hits in just four innings, but he actually did a decent job while starting at Coors for the first time. Stratton got Gerardo Parra to ground out with the bases loaded in the fourth, keeping the Giants in the game. 

—- Blackmon took Stratton deep for his 33rd — seriously, 33rd — homer. Blackmon is on pace to score 143 runs. He’s the MVP candidate nobody talks about. 

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants open second half victorious

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants open second half victorious


SAN DIEGO — Operation Pass The Padres got off to a good start. 

The Giants opened their second half with a 5-4 win at Petco Park, snapping a four-game losing streak and getting within four games of the fourth-place Padres in the NL West. Johnny Cueto wasn’t sharp, but the lineup had 14 hits and the bullpen held on.

The Padres loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth but couldn't push the tying run across. Jabari Blash flied out to deep right against Sam Dyson. Perhaps the second half will be better? 

Anyway, here are five things to know from Opening Day 2.0: 

—- TRADE VALUE UPDATE: Cueto gave up six hits and three earned in four innings and he was pulled after just 82 pitches, which is not totally normal. Cueto’s ERA is at 4.59 with 17 days left until the deadline. 

—- Cory Gearrin pitched the sixth and worked around a couple baserunners. He quietly has a 2.08 ERA this season. 

—- TRADE VALUE UPDATE: Eduardo Nuñez returned to the lineup and generally looked like his old self. He doubled in the third inning. 

—- Buster Posey rocked a baseball into the bushes under the batter’s eye in the seventh inning. It was Posey’s 11th homer of the year. He’s on pace to reach 20 for the third time in his career. 

—- Gorkys Hernandez looks like a man who wants to play everyday in the second half. He had a career-high four hits and made a nice running catch in left. Hernandez has just six games with at least three hits in his career, and two of them have come in the last nine days.