Now that we are celebrating our early holiday gift (Thank You Bobby Evans) with the signing of Mark Melancon as the new Giants closer, it’s time to clean up the gift wrap and think about recycling those bows! There is news today that Mark Melancon’s contract allows for a player opt-out after two years. This means there are likely to be repercussions for the Giants in terms of roster construction both in the early and long terms of the closer’s tenure/contract life. Details of the contract include the eye-popping stipulation that Melancon will receive a $20 Million dollar bonus! His contract is heavily front-loaded and the Giants are going to pay more than half of the contract for the first two years, amounting to a potentially much higher average annual salary in the near term.
There are risks here. If Melancon pitches like the premier closer we are counting on he is likely to opt out and sign a mega deal at the age of 34!
There are other implications. First, Bobby Evans was on record today as stating that the Giants expect left field to be an open competition between Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker. So, goodbye Juan Batista. Au revoir Ryan Braun. Ciao Yoenis Cespedes.
Second, the signing of Melancon pushes the Giants past the luxury tax threshold this year and may be a factor if the team is looking for mid-season acquisitions for 2017.
Like I said, there are repercussions to this deal and they are a risky proposition. But it’s not like we’re the Red Sox who just traded Yoan Moncada and other top prospects for Chris Sale! This baseball GM business can get a little hairy and the Melancon move signals that the Giants mean business about winning now. As a fan who understands that windows of opportunity don’t stay open forever (see Tigers, Phillies, Royals, etc.) I appreciate and agree with this mindset.
I just want to play with my new toy.