We're only seven weeks into the season, but we figured now would be a good time to assess how some of the 2012 contracts are looking for the SF Giants.
So, we're gonna break this up into three groups: The Good - exceeding expectations, and providing more value than originally planned; The Bad - middle of the road, not great, not horrible; The Ugly - an absolute bust, we're shaking our heads in disappointment.
Melky Cabrera ($6M): Where would the club be without the Melk-Man? How great did this trade turnout for the club. An absolute god-send, and he's picked up where he left off from his career year in 2011. No doubt he's playing for a huge contract, and by all means, he deserves it!
Pablo Sandoval ($3.2M): Up until his hamate bone surgery, Pablo was dialed-in at the plate. He is a legit power hitter, and has the potential to put up some big numbers this year.
Santiago Casilla ($2.2M): Santiago has respectably filled in as our new closer. Has he been perfect? No, of course not, but we still feel comfortable for him closing out a game when the team has a lead.
Sergio Romo ($1.6M): We still can't believe the club found Sergio from the Golden Baseball League - the last chance saloon of professional baseball. With each game he gets in, he only gets better ... he's become one of the premier setup men in the Majors. Plus he's humble guy that knows playing pro ball is a blessing and truly appreciates the home fans.
Buster Posey ($615K): Don't lie, you were worried too if Buster was going to contribute to the club in '12. So far, the ankle is holding up, and he's been pretty steady at the plate too. He provides the middle of the order power and plate discipline that the team needs.
Madison Bumgarner ($560K): Thankfully the team signed MadBum to an extension, and he might become the ace of the staff by seasons end. This kid is legit, and isn't afraid of anyone or any situation.
Gregor Blanco ($516K): It's still early, but Gregor is a true leadoff hitter we haven't seen since the days of Brett Butler. Gregor has the ability to work a count, and put the ball into play, and with his speed he can cause havoc on the base path. He's our early contender for the 2012 Willie Mac Award.
Hector Sanchez ($480K): The Rhino, yes - that's our nickname for him, has been a pleasant surprise. For such a younger player, he understands what he needs to do at the plate. If Posey ever ends up at 1B full time, we have a great catcher to take his place. Plus, Zito loves this kid behind the plate.
Barry Zito ($19M): If it wasn't for the huge check he's getting this year, Zito would be in The Good category, but sadly that's not the case. Zito has been a pleasant surprise thus far, and we can only hope he continues on carrying the back end of the starting rotation.
Tim Lincecum ($18.2M): Hey, this was tough for us to put him in this category too, but let's not kid ourselves, the month of April was horrible. He's picked up as of late, but he's not the Tim Lincecum you and us know and love.
Matt Cain ($15.8M): Do we see a trend here? He's a horse, and pitched a complete game a few weeks ago! Yes, we know those things, but Matt would agree he's been a bit off to start the season. Look, we're glad he signed an extension and is gonna pitch for the club for years to come.
Javier Lopez ($4.2M): Javy has been steady, but $4.2M for a situational lefty seems a bit too much for us.
Ryan Vogelsong ($3M): He started the year on the DL, and has been okay with his starts thus far, but our biggest concern is his back. Can Ry maintain the rigors of an entire season without going on the DL again for his back? That's worrisome for us.
Nate Schierholtz ($1.3M): We thought this was going to be the year that Nate busted out of the gates and finally claim a starting OF job, but it just hasn't happened. He's been relegated to the bench, and after his dismal pinch-hitting appearance last night, his days with the club might be coming to an end. We anticipate he'll be with another team by the end of the season.
Aubrey Huff ($10M): What can we say, the two-year contract the club gave to Aubrey after the World Series was a huge mistake. We're not gonna dive into his personal issues, but it's hard to imagine any meaningful contribution Aubrey can make to the club this year. Nevertheless, we will always be thankful that he helped bring a World Championship to San Francisco.
Brian Wilson ($8.5M): This might be his last season as a member of the SF Giants. I think the club has learned it's lesson on not signing players that are coming off a major surgery. Might be a good time to shave the beard too.
Freddy Sanchez ($6M): Freddy clearly has the talent, but his body is breaking down to the point of no return. Will he even return on the field this year? After the recent story regarding his back, it's highly unlikely.
Jeremy Affeldt ($5M): Frozen hamburger patties and lifting his child are the reasons for his stints on the DL. Jeremy has great talent, but the high salary and his poor decisions off the field landed him in this category.
Ryan Theriot ($1.25M): We're still perplexed how TheRiot made the club. His contributions thus far has been non-existent, and we still can't believe that the "Baby Babe Ruth" (Fontenot) wasn't kept ahead of Ryan at basically the same salary.
Guillermo Mota ($1M): Anyone that goes on the 100-game suspension list goes on this list automatically. C'mon, kids coughing syrup?! WTH!
Now, we didn't include anyone on the roster in this blog post. The two Brandons are both making $481K, but can't say they've been great or horrible based on their contracts. Same goes with Pill and Hensley.