The Giants are looking at a pretty expensive 2012 bullpen after locking up two of this year’s top free agent left-handed relievers on Sunday.
Hours after agreeing to terms with Javier Lopez on a two-year, $8.5 million contract, the Giants exercised fellow southpaw Jeremy Affeldt’s $5 million option for 2012.
Affeldt would have received a $500,000 buyout had the Giants declined the option.
Here’s the salary breakdown for the Giants’ top six relievers in 2012:
Brian Wilson: $8.5 million
Affeldt: $5 million
Lopez: $4.25 million
Santiago Casilla: $2.6 million*
Ramon Ramirez: $2.8 million*
Sergio Romo: $1.5 million*
The last three are all eligible for arbitration, so those salaries are approximates. Nonetheless, the Giants are looking at spending about $25 million on their top six relievers next year.
Affeldt, 32, bounced back from a disappointing 2010 to finish with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 61 2/3 innings last season. However, he missed the last three weeks with a cut on his right hand suffered in an accident involving a knife and a box of frozen hamburgers.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.
Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.
Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.