Giants sign Bumgarner, then reach out to Lincecum, Posey, too


Giants sign Bumgarner, then reach out to Lincecum, Posey, too

SAN FRANCISCO The Giants arent done wrapping up theirhomegrown stars. They want to conduct more business with Buster Posey andTim Lincecum, too.

After completing Madison Bumgarners five-year extension,Giants vice president Bobby Evans touched base with the agents for Lincecum andPosey on Monday, and said there was mutual interest in keeping both stars inGiants uniforms for the longer term.

Really, it was to remind them of our view of them as apriority, Evans said. Its reiterating what they already know. Wed like tosee them as Giants into the future.

The Giants already tried to sign Lincecum to a longer-termdeal that would buy out his free-agent years. The two-time Cy Young Awardwinner preferred a two-year structure for the contract he signed over thewinter, which only bought out the remainder of his arbitration years. He canbecome a free agent after the 2013 season.

I asked Giants CEO Larry Baer what Bumgarners extensionmeans in terms of providing budget certainty when making another run atLincecum. Baer hinted strongly that the interest to extend Lincecum would waneif his performance slips.

Weve made no secret about our strategy, Baer said. Wewant to lock up as many homegrown players as we can. It doesnt mean well beable to lock up every homegrown player.

First and foremost, its a baseball evaluation. We loveTimmy and we came to an agreement on a two-year deal. But well continue toevaluate everybody, including Timmy.

Evans said Mondays call to Poseys agent was the firstoverture towards negotiating a multiyear deal for the cleanup-hitting catcher.

With Buster, we had really limited conversations to oneyear, said Evans, who signed Posey to a 615,000 contract in the spring.There will be a time we want to readdress that and Buster knows that, too.

However, Evans said he did not expect contract negotiationsto begin during the season.

Its not a good practice, said Evans, explaining thatBumgarners deal was an exception because the two sides had made substantialprogress before opening day.

Thats why I thank Madison and his agent (Tom Little) forfinishing what we started, Evans said.

Bumgarners contract has two structures to account for theuncertainty over whether he will qualify for arbitration after this season as asuper two player. The top 22 percent of players with two-plus years ofservice time gain an extra year of arbitration eligibility. (It used to be thetop 17 percent under the previous collective bargaining agreement.)

Bumgarner is currently not forecasted to make the super-twocut, but that could change if other players with similar service time get sentdown to the minor leagues this year.

If Bumgarner is not a super-two, hell make 750,000 in2013, followed by salaries of 3.75 million, 6.75 million, 9.75 million and11.5 million.

If Bumgarner does qualify, he will make 3 million in 2013,followed by salaries of 5.5 million, 7 million, 10 million and 12 million.

The contract also includes two club options for 12 millionin 2018 and 19, and both have escalators based on the Cy Young Award. IfBumgarner wins the Cy Young at any point during the contract, both option yearswould be worth 16 million. If he has a second- or third-place finish in the CyYoung balloting at any point, the options would be worth 14 million.

Two more things about the option years:

The Giants have a buyout of 1.5 million that can apply toeither option year. And the first option can become guaranteed (not a playeroption) if Bumgarner throws 200 innings in 2017 or 400 innings between 2016-17.

Doing the math: If Bumgarner is a super-two, he maxes outboth options and the Giants exercise them, the total value of the contractcould be worth as much as 70.5 million.

Oh, and Bumgarner has a limited no-trade clause in which hecan name eight teams annually to which he cannot be dealt. The no-trade takeseffect this season.

And two more things about the contract in general:

Bumgarners 560,000 contract for this season, which wassigned in March, remains unchanged. Except he gets a 1 million signing bonusin the extension, half of which is payable this year and half next year.

Bumgarner, 22, said the extension made sense for his familyand hes thrilled to know hell be part of the same rotation with Matt Cain foryears to come.

Hes been a mentor to me my whole career, Bumgarner saidof Cain, who signed his five-year, 112.5 million extension two weeks ago. Itllbe a good thing for both of us.

Baer and Evans both talked about Bumgarners outstandingaccomplishments as well as his professionalism and temperament on the mound.Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he couldnt be happier for Bumgarner, who willstart Tuesday against the Phillies.

Great news for all of us, Bochy said. To have two-fifthsof our rotation tied up is a special thing.

Bochy said Bumgarners makeup is off the charts. So is hisconfidence. Asked about the Phillies vaunted rotation, Bumgarner said hellstack up the Giants against anyone.

They obviously have a good one, one of the best, but whoknows how good we can be? Bumgarner said. We can be just as good, if notbetter.

Vin Scully on Dodgers Opening Day: ‘I’ll probably have things to do’

Vin Scully on Dodgers Opening Day: ‘I’ll probably have things to do’

WASHINGTON -- On Monday, the Dodgers will play their first opening day since 1950 without Vin Scully calling their games. He won't be in the stands. He won't make a point of watching on TV, either.

"It's a day game. I'll probably have things to do," the famed 89-year-old announcer told The Associated Press from his home in Hidden Hills, California. "I might catch a piece of it."

Not that Scully has any regrets since retiring after last season. He says he's grateful for every minute he spent with the Dodgers, the franchise he joined 67 years ago in Brooklyn and followed to Los Angeles eight years later. He feels blessed to have worked as long as he did covering the game he fell in love with as a boy.

But he's learned that after a lifetime in the broadcast booth, watching a game as a fan holds little appeal.

"During the World Series back around '77 or '78, there was a game at Dodger Stadium with the Yankees, and I went to the game as a spectator. Now, I hadn't been as a spectator in a long, long time, and I felt somewhat restless that I wasn't broadcasting," Scully recalled Tuesday.

"I did not have the challenge of trying to describe, accurately and quickly, the way it should be done. I just sat there, and I was not happy, I'll be honest. So I realized that although I love the game, what I loved more was broadcasting it," he said.

Scully spoke to the AP because the Library of Congress has announced it will preserve his call of a 1957 game between the Dodgers and the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, the final time they played at the hallowed old stadium. Both teams moved to California after that season, opening up the West Coast to Major League Baseball.

Scully's call of Sandy Koufax's 1965 perfect game is more famous. But that game at the Polo Grounds meant more to him personally, because he grew up going to games there, cheering for the Giants and dreaming of watching from the press box.

"It was so meaningful to me. I'm not sure what it really means to baseball fans anymore," Scully said. "The sands of time have washed over the Polo Grounds. But for me, it was one of the more memorable games I was ever involved in."

During that broadcast, Scully implored the players to take their time before there franchises left town: "Let's take it easy, we just want to take one last lingering look at both of you." The Library of Congress called it "a masterful example of the artistry that great sports announcers bring to their work, as well as their empathy for players and fans."

Six decades later, Scully is having an easier time letting go. So no plans to keep track Monday when Los Angeles plays the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.

"All summer long, I expect to get feelings of nostalgia, wistfulness, whatever the word may be, but no, I am comfortable, I do know in my heart and soul I am where I should be, and that really is all I need," he said.

"Sure, after 67 years, you'll bet I'll miss it," he added. "But heck, I miss the guys I hung out with when I was in school."

Giants spring training Day 44: Marrero caps huge spring with eighth homer

Giants spring training Day 44: Marrero caps huge spring with eighth homer

MESA, Ariz. — The Giants went 0-62 last season when trailing after eight innings. Chris Marrero wasn’t around for any of that, but it’s a stat that could help Marrero as he tries to lock up a bench spot. 

The first baseman/left fielder crushed a three-run shot in the ninth inning Tuesday, wiping out a two-run deficit against the Cubs. Marrero also has two walk-off homers this spring. 

“This kid, you see it when he goes up there. He’s got great focus,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s intensity and determination. From day one, you could see it in his at-bats. Late in the game, he seems very comfortable. He wants to go up there.”

Tuesday’s homer, which shot out to right-center, was the eighth of the spring for Marrero. That ties him with a guy named Bryce Harper for the MLB lead, and the vast majority of Marrero’s bombs were no-doubters. 

“It’s been a great spring for him,” Bochy said. “The last game here, it seems fitting that he would do something like that. He’s already done it a couple of times. This kid has done all he can. I love his swing and the work that he’s put in.”

With Michael Morse down, Marrero is the best remaining option as a power right-handed bat off the bench, a glaring need a year ago. Justin Ruggiano, another one in the mix, followed Marrero’s shot with one of his own. The homer was Ruggiano’s second of the spring. 

Ruggiano is a better fit defensively in the outfield, but Marrero has been solid at first and Bochy said he’s fine with what he’s seen in left field. “He’s still working on it,” Bochy said, noting that Marrero will play left field during the Bay Bridge Series. 

LEADING OFF: Denard Span saw a wild pitch bounce off the bricks behind home plate, and he never slowed down. Span sped around third in the second inning and slid in ahead of the throw. The notable part of the play wasn’t that a quirky bounce allowed Span to take 180 feet on a wild pitch. It was that his legs did. The 33-year-old has been a different guy in his second spring with the Giants. Last year, Span was coming off hip surgery. This spring, his old game has returned.

“I’ve just been able to do the things I’ve always been able to do,” Span said. “I have more control of my body. I’m stronger. I had a full offseason and a full spring training to get my legs up under me. The last couple of weeks, I’ve felt much better and more confident.”

A healthy and spry Span would be a big boost to a lineup that often looked flat in the second half last season Span showed off every aspect of his game Tuesday. He blasted a leadoff homer on Jake Arrieta’s second pitch, and during their second matchup, he put a perfect bunt down the third base line for a single. Span stole second easily before his race home. 

“He’s playing terrific baseball and he’s been a real inspiration, being our leadoff hitter,” Bochy said. “That’s what we needed — energy at the top of the order.”

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez (shoulder) is feeling much better, and Bochy said he’ll play third base during the games at AT&T Park before getting four or five innings at shortstop on Saturday. Joe Panik (drilled in the back on Monday) said he’s feeling fine. 

POSITION BATTLES: Here’s the latest on Matt Cain, and here’s an update on Aaron Hill and Jimmy Rollins. 

ICYMI: Big news today from NBC Bay Area. Matt Williams, Javier Lopez and Cody Ross have joined out pre- and post-game shows. You can find stories about those guys on our homepage here. Those shows will also now be an hour long on both ends of the game, adding an extra hour of Giants coverage to your day. Which is good. 

That’s all on the way during the regular season. If you missed any of our spring coverage, you can find a bunch of features here, and podcasts here (spring pods included Mike Morse, Matt Cain, Mac Williamson, Jimmy Rollins and others, with one more coming this week). And in case you’re new to our coverage, the Twitter account is here and the Facebook page is here. Next stop, San Francisco …