December 2016: The #SFGiants Changing of the Guard

Ask my lottery tickets, my fiance, my Vegas trips, my parents that watched me grow up: I am wrong a lot. A lot. Let me say that again so you can’t say I didn’t tell you so before: I will be wrong in predictions I make. But here’s where I think I’m saying something that makes a little sense: In December of 2016 will be the time when things will start to change on the mound for the San Francisco Giants. It has to change sometime and in December of 2016 is when I think it will happen. Let me show you my thoughts brought to you by Microsoft Excel:

I hope you can actually read that. My little disclaimer is Ryan Vogelsong won’t be the only one that lasts until 2016. He’ll last until 2015. I have faith in Vogelsong. That his change is real and will help the Giants for a couple years. After that he might play a smaller role. Or may still be the #5. Fact is the Giants will have so much money consumed in other people, they’ll need cheaper alternatives. I think he’ll make the choice to retire on his own and be at peace with that decision after the 2015 season. Or maybe I’m crazy.

Tim Lincecum will get his money, and it will be from the Giants. They will just be able to take it on for so long. I don’t think he ever gets traded to anybody, although the prospects he’d bring in would have to be nothing short of drop-dead amazing. I think he gets a 2/$40MM and a 3/$92MM extension that will undoubtedly make headlines. That extension will probably come in the middle of the 2013 season. After that, the Giants just won’t have the wallet to use 25-30% of their payroll on one player when they’ll have to choose between Buster, Pablo and Brandon and maybe even Gary Brown (who knows).

Matt Cain will get his extension this offseason. It will be for 4 years and somewhere around $80-85MM. Again, my guess, but an educated guess. Matty’s deal could actually be the best in terms of value between him and Timmy as we’ve seen Cainer get better through his years. He will probably always be in Timmy’s shadow but Giants fans know to never sell him short. Of the four I’m talking about, he’s a not-so-distant 2nd most likely to stay beyond 2016, but I wouldn’t be surprised if when Timmy walks, so does Matt. It’ll be his last chance to cash in on a huge deal at age 31 even though he’ll be set for life by then.

Madison Bumgarner, obviously the most likely of the four to stay beyond 2016, will get the money he deserves in one way or another as he’s under team control through 2016. Who’s to say after that he doesn’t want to test the market after being with a team that won’t buy him run support? Or that maybe he just wants to be closer to North Carolina? Then again maybe he stays.

I could’ve made this just Timmy, Matty and Madison, but I think Ryan is an important piece. What’s that, I missed Barry? Don’t worry, he’ll be stealing money from the organization’s wallets (legally) through 2014. This can all change if the offense of the Giants goes absolutely berserk with the aforementioned guys in Brown, Belt, Buster (OMG THE NEW KILLER B’S) and Panda. Four killer bats in one lineup? Yea, that’ll do. But what if the Giants need someone(s) and don’t respond? As long as Sabean and the current front office stays, I don’t see Rowand-esque contracts happening again with the money put into the pitching.

Maybe I’m wrong though. Maybe the guard will change before that. Maybe we’ll be blessed to watch these aces (if Ryan repeats his performance in 2012 I’ll call him an “ace” and people will probably laugh at me for doing so) for longer. Obviously we hope for the ultimate prize, but I hope so much we do it with these guys many times.

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