Earlier on Monday we mentioned that contract talks between the Giants and Matt Cain were heating up. Things got scorching by mid-afternoon and the resulting momentum led to the Giants announcing a new five-year contract extension for Cain.
The deal will take Cain through the 2017 season and also has a club/player vesting option for the 2018 season. According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, it's a $100 million deal with a $5 million signing bonus, and the vesting option has a $7.5 million buyout. (So $112.5 million total.)
"Ensuring that Matt remained a Giant beyond this season was a top priority for the organization," GM Brian Sabean said.
It certainly was: Cain was scheduled to become a free agent following the 2012 season and the Giants made a point before free agency that locking up he and Tim Lincecum were the organization's top priorities.
They've now handled both, giving Lincecum a two-year deal and locking down Cain for the foreseeable future.
"This is an exciting day for Giants fans everywhere and a fantastic way to kick off the 2012 season," Giants CEO Larry Baer said.
It's a huge relief for Giants fans, because the Giants first game was the "cutoff" for talks involving Cain. And it means that the Yankees and Dodgers and anyone else with money to burn for a potential ace weren't going to go chasing Cain once the season ended and he became a free agent.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com makes a very interesting point: the only contract in baseball history larger for a non-free-agent pitcher was the deal Johan Santana signed with the Mets.
Cain now holds the largest contract for a right-handed pitcher who didn't hit free agency. Kevin Brown, as Heyman notes, had the previous record at $105 million.
Baggarly also reports that Cain has "complete no-trade protection through the entirety of the contract."