Pitcher Matt Cain would like to have an offer from the Giants by Opening Day. If not, it's free agency and "an exciting part" of his career.
Opening Day is looming and that's glorious. But for Giants fans, there's a gigantic grey lining in that white, puffy, baseball-shaped cloud: Matt Cain wants negotiations on a new contract done by then, one way or another.
And when Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com recently asked him about remaining a Giant versus becoming a free agent -- "all things being equal" -- Cain didn't exactly provide a response that should be cause for celebration in the Bay Area.
"I enjoy being here with the guys, and I'm looking forward to playing the season,'' Cain said after a pause. "I am a year away from free agency. That's an exciting part of your career as well.''
But Cain's previously said that he's "really torn" about whether or not to become a free agent, and based on what he told Heyman, things aren't going well for the Giants in negotiations.
Heyman also reports that, according to "one person involved in the discussions," there has been some "back and forth" between the two sides recently but there is likely "still a very sizable gap to bridge."
The Giants can still sign Cain in the fall, once the season ends. But if they want to keep their rotation intact -- and if they don't, why on earth did they eschew hitters this offseason to extend pitchers? -- they need to make sure and lock up Cain within the next week or so.
And that's going to mean they stop lowballing him and playing to his sense of "home" (he's actually from Tennessee) and make him an offer that fits with what he's worth on the open market.