Giants exercise Jeremy Affeldt’s $5 million option

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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.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.