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Where we tend to talk about the recent past a lot

Updated: 2016-12-09T14:18:03-08:00


If the Giants didn’t sign Mark Melancon, what would the roster look like?


There were a lot of different options, but none of them were perfect. Mark Melancon is officially a Giant. Here, a picture: ✅ Mark #SFGiants— SFGiants (@SFGiants) December 9, 2016 The names at the bottoms are placeholders, and I might have overshot the major league minimum by too much on some, but what’s $100,000 among friends? If you think it’s going to be Gorkys Hernandez and not Jarrett Parker, for example, pretend the words “Extra Outfielder” appear instead of Parker’s name. So the Giants are at roughly $183 million in raw salary, but this is where I’m going to plead ignorance. They gave Melancon a huge signing bonus, with $12 million paid up front, and his actual salary next year will be $4 million. I’m counting it as $16 million for practical purposes, but there might be a reason why the Giants wanted that discrepancy. The bonus is a 2016 expense, whereas the $4 million might help the organization with their official 2017 numbers if they make an addition. Uh, you know. Fiscal years. Amortization. Equity and IRAs. You know what I’m talking about. Write-offs. That’s what these big teams do, you know. They just write everything off. Okay, so I’m in the dark about specifically why Melancon’s base salary is so low, and while I’m assuming it has to do with expenses in a calendar year, and I’ll just lump all that salary into next year to be save. Now we’ll look at the team’s payroll since 2010 and see how much it increases every year. 2010 - $97,023,8332011 - $118,198,333 (18% increase)2012 - $131,980,298 (10% increase)2013 - $136,908,777 (4% increase)2014 - $149,439,474 (8% increase)2015 - $173,179,277 (14% increase)2016 - $172,086,611 (slight decrease) The Giants are already more than $10 million over last season, which is just about as far as they’ll usually go. If there’s an extra $10 million in the coat pockets, I’d be surprised, and that’s not going to be enough to sign Dexter Fowler, Ian Desmond, or Jose Bautista, for example. Also, keep in mind next season, when the Giants have $135 million committed to just eight roster spots. Buster Posey - $21.4 million Jeff Samardzija - $19.8 million Hunter Pence - $18.5 million Brandon Belt - $16 million Brandon Crawford - $15.2 million Madison Bumgarner - $12 million Mark Melancon - $12 million Matt Moore - $9 million (if option picked up) Matt Cain - $7.5 million (if option declined) Denard Span - $4 million (if option declined) This is assuming that Johnny Cueto opts out. If he doesn’t, well, I don’t even want to know why he wouldn’t opt out. Because he loves you. You, the person reading this. He’s staying for you. (He is not staying for you.) In addition to those seven players, the Giants will have Joe Panik, Will Smith, and Hunter Strickland in arbitration, making millions instead of half-millions. The extensions to homegrown players were exciting and necessary, and most of them still look wise, but they weren’t cheap. Except for poor Madison Bumgarner. That means the 2018 Giants will have to find 14 players or so for $50 million, give or take. Pre-arbitration players like Ty Blach and Mac Williamson will help, certainly. But you can guess why they didn’t want to dish out $30 million to Yoenis Cespedes. They might have to re-sign Cueto, too. A bunch of numbers short: There ain’t gonna be a Dexter Fowler, Ian Desmond, or Jose Bautista this offseason. Not unless the team is committed to blowing past the salary cap luxury tax next year and paying 40 percent over whatever contract they’ll have to offer to woo these players. None of those players really fill me with confidence as automatic, don’t-worry-about-it solutions for next year, which is what that kind of commitment would need to be. That leaves two options for the outfield: a one-year deal, a trade for a young player on a cheap deal, or a trade for a player on a one-year deal. More specifically, it’s these players or bust: Jay Bruce J.D. Martinez Jarrod Dyson Lorenzo Cain Curtis Granderson Melky Ca[...]