Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bye-bye Brian Wilson

Lefty Malo has a solid analysis of the Santiago Casilla contract and notes that it means that the door is closing on a deal for Brian Wilson -- unless it's at a deep discount. Here's part of the post. Boldface is mine --

. Casilla threw the ball really well last year in a ton of high-leverage situations. He got a little unlucky with the home runs.

That's no guarantee of future performance, of course, and a 32-year-old arm is a 32-year-old arm, metonymically and tautologically speaking. A three year contract could go kerblooey in year one, and the Giants know it. Odd thing is, they didn't have to pile on like this. Casilla was under contract, due a final year of arbitration eligibility, in 2013. Unlike Affeldt, who would have found plenty of suitors on the open market, Casilla wasn't going anywhere for a while. He was likely to make north of $5 million then hit the free agent market a year from now.

Apparently the Giants felt a slightly discounted Casilla in 2013 was worth the risk of paying roughly the same amount of guaranteed money in 2014 and 2015. That tells me they really really like the look of his medical records, which they are intimate with, and they see the performance we've all seen the past couple years and believe it's repeatable (except for the home runs). It also means they're comfortable with the idea of flushing $10 million down the Jairo-hole in a post-2013 nightmare scenario. They know the risk of human pitching flesh.

Finally, the contract has to be an ominous sign for Brian Wilson. I'm sure the door hasn't closed yet, but one can imagine the Giants pointing to Javy Lopez, Casilla, and Affeldt, all making $4 to $6 million in 2013, and telling Wilson he has to make concessions with his twice-reconstructed elbow.


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