Everyone was reporting yesterday that the Reds got Chapman for $30 million yesterday, but it’s apparently a bit more nuanced than that. According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, it’s a $25 million deal that locks him up for over five years with a player option for a sixth, which would bump the total to $30 million.
But here’s the kicker: the payments are spread out over ten years, with his salary for 2010 being a mere $1 million. Fay says that “the first year it will be a major burden on the big league budget is 2014.”
I suppose there are two ways to look at this. Given their presumed financial constraints, it’s probably a good thing that they’re delaying the pain of this contract, such as it is, until guys like Aaaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo are off the payroll. On the other hand, if Chapman does turn out to be a bust, it will be a total bummer when he exercises that option and the team still has to write checks to his ineffective butt circa 2014.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Chapman, how about these apples: according to Buster, the Athletics came in second to Cincy in the bidding. How about that? The lowly Reds and A’s, each willing to go north of $25 million on an amateur free agent with the Yankees and Red Sox nowhere in sight. And all this time I’ve been believing people who told me that that the big teams would crush the little teams if you got rid of the draft.
After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.
According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.
Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.
Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.