Matt Cain landed an extension with the San Francisco Giants, making him the highest paid right handed pitcher in the history of Baseball. Joey Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, becomes yet another NL first baseman, who actually didn’t leave his team (Cincinnati Reds) landing a huge contract.
Albert Pujols left the Cardinals for the Angels, switching leagues for the sum of $254 million over a 10 year period. Pricne Fielder, a rival of Votto in the NL Central until this winter, in which he didn’t go far, but left the Brewers for the Detroit Tigers and the AL for a nine year, $214 million deal. Joy Votto? Very much along those same lines – A 10 year contract (Votto is 38) for $225 million.
It’s not like Votto was making ends meet. He’s due for $9.5 million this season and $17 million in 2013, all part of a three year deal he signed with the Reds after 2010 to keep the two sides from going to arbitration.
Votto hit 29 home runs in 2011, driving in 103 runs (his second consecutive +100 RBI) while batting .309 and a league leading .416 OBP. He made his second consecutive All-Star game, winning his first Gold Glove award and proving without a doubt that he’s the best Canadian in the league, winning the Tip O’Neill award for the second consecutive year, something no one has done since Jason Bay in 2004-2005.
Matt Cain, who was tremendous in the 2010 World Series start for the Giants against the Rangers had misleading numbers last season. His win record was only 12-11, but that had more to do with the Giants’ being a great pitching team but a terrible hitting squad, missing the postseason despite their incredible rotation. He did finish with a 2.88 ERA, a career best for Cain since becoming a full time starter.
The 27 year old, 7 year veteran signed a six year contract (2012-2017) for $127.5 million, as the Giants continue to believe that pitching, and not big signings to improve the lineup, is their belief in winning. Cain has won 39 games over the last three years and has pitched in over 200 innings during the last five seasons. His durability is the key to more money, and obviously future success.
If Cain pitches 200 innings in 2017 or 400 combined innings for the 2016-2017 seasons, he’ll be guaranteed $21 million for the 2018 season, as long as he’s not on the disabled list.
Cain is now the third highest paid pitcher in all of baseball, with CC Sabathia and Johan Santana, both lefties, making more for the New York ball-clubs. Cain, with a 23.4 WAR since 2006, is second in the NL during that time-span, behind only Roy Oswalt. Tim Lincecum, Cain’s teammate with the Giants, is third with 23.2.