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  1. Not a ton of money. Good risk to take.

    Comment by Brian — January 12, 2012 @ 9:07 am

  2. The ballpark certainly helped a bit, obviously.

    Comment by tdotsports — January 12, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  3. *and division

    Comment by tdotsports — January 12, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  4. It’s almost always a bad idea to buy high on a guy like this, but it doesn’t look like there’s much risk. Assuming he would make just $2.5M in arbitration this year, the extension pays him about $5.8M next year. Or a little over 1 WAR. He can get there with about 150 IP’s @ 4.30 FIP. Consider that he had a 3.67 FIP, 3.85 xFIP, 3.97 SIERA last year. And that ballpark’s voodoo is always good at suppressing HR’s.

    The commitment is only 1 extra year. I’d bet he earns the extra money. There’s a good chance at excess value. And even if he completely collapses, $5M isn’t exactly franchise-crippling.

    I don’t think it’s particularly useful to compare his 2011 stats to his pre-Japan stats, considering how long ago it was and how volatile pitchers are.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — January 12, 2012 @ 9:35 am

  5. First of all, gotta be happy for Ryan Vogelsong. Maybe if he turns back into a pumpkin I’ll be grinding my teeth over his salary in a couple of years, but I am so happy for him and his family. This guy has struggled for so long. His family has stuck with him through thick and thin, but mostly just thin. His wife had watched him try and fail for so long she would burst into tears every time he walked off the mound at AT&T Park after another terrific start. He just seems like a genuinely nice person. To top it all off, when the Dodgers offered him a minor league deal after he failed to hear anything from the Giants, he begged his Mexican League catcher, Guillermo Rodriguez to make one more call on his behalf to the Giants because HE DIDN’T WANT TO BE A DODGER! Now, how great is THAT anyway? After what he’s been through and what he did last year, to finally get financial security for his himself and his family, well, I’m happy for every penny he got.

    Secondly, if you go to his stats page on and look up the history of his pitch selection and pitch effectiveness, there are clues to why he was more successful last year:

    1. He threw the fastball less often, but more effectively.

    2. He’s junked his slider and replaced it with a cut fastball and threw it more often. It wasn’t as effective as his fastball, but easier to control than the slider.

    3. He was able to throw a very good curveball for strikes. He was able to use it both as a K pitch and for jumping ahead of hitters by pitching backwards.

    4. He threw the changeup more often. It wasn’t as effective a pitch as the FB and CB, but it likely kept hitters off balance and set up the other pitches.

    Look up his HR/FB’s. He’s ALWAYS had very low ratios even when he was in Pittsburgh, so can we dispense with the silly ballpark talk? It has been shown over and over that the Giants pitchers are just as good at suppressing HR’s on the road as at home by the writers on this site, so why are we continuing to invoke the ballpark as the cause?

    From Dick Tidrow and Mike Krukow, the Giants preach fastball command to both sides of the plate as a mantra. That is the main reason why they are able to suppress HR’s so effectively and that is what was most different about Vogelsong in 2011.

    I don’t know if he keeps it up or not. He could get injured. He could lose command of the curveball which was a huge part of his success last year. I just know it wasn’t because his HR/FB was a fluke. The numbers prove it.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — January 12, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  6. Wasn’t Correia’s breakout in 2009? Just a minor detail, but I thought it was 2009 and not 2010.

    Comment by drewcorb — January 12, 2012 @ 10:07 am

  7. Accidentally gave you a thumbs down, not intentional. I too think that he improved over his previous stuff. Looking at the swing %’s and related data, Vogelsong threw more first pitch strikes, induce more swings and got more contact on pitches outside of the zone, reduced swings and contact on pitches inside the zone, and cut a walk per 9 off his career walk rate. He might be throwing with similar velocity and generating a similar number of swinging strikes, but the way he’s getting there seems improved.

    Comment by Rob — January 12, 2012 @ 10:19 am

  8. He’s their 4th starter, so even if his WAR drops by a whole win next season which his FIP somewhat predicts he is still worth about the per year money he received. As a free agent on the open market he probably would have received a similar deal to possibly be a 3 starter for a worse pitching staff. Because of Lincecum, Cain, and Bumgarner they can afford to say they have a pretty good 4th starter at a fair amount of money. Good deal for Giants and congrats to Vogelsong on his comeback.

    Comment by Ben — January 12, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  9. “Vogelsong”

    say it soft and it’s almost like praying.

    Comment by JDanger — January 12, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  10. Bruce Chen and pedestrian only belong in the same sentence if he’s walking to the ballpark

    Comment by agam22 — January 12, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  11. He’s accumulated 5.9 WAR in 14 seasons. If anyone is sprinting for the HoF, it’s Bruce Chen.

    Comment by drewcorb — January 12, 2012 @ 11:27 am

  12. In an NL-only keeper league, where does Vogelsong project for 2012 and 2013 vs. Collmenter?

    Comment by Will — January 12, 2012 @ 11:29 am

  13. You’re talking to the fans who are living through the Rowand and Zito contracts (not to mention paying Aubrey Huff $12MM this season), and you think we’re afraid of a 2 year $8MM commitment? Ha!

    Comment by Brendan — January 12, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  14. If the deal was just 2/8 it would probably be a slight overpay BUT since there are reports of a team option on the end for 2014 which makes it a risk worth taking for the Giants

    Comment by Evan — January 12, 2012 @ 11:44 am

  15. His FIP does not predict a drop in his WAR. WAR is based on his FIP, not his ERA.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — January 12, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  16. Hey, it’s an even year. That means Huff will be an all-star!

    Comment by Kevin — January 12, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  17. The Giants still owe those three players $70M.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — January 12, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  18. That just blows my mind

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — January 12, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  19. So $8.3M is a drop in the bucket.

    Comment by Baltar — January 12, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

  20. This is the only Giants offseason move so far that makes some sense, other than cutting Keppinger.
    I give it better than a 50-50 chance of paying off.

    Comment by Baltar — January 12, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  21. Given that we’ve seen relief pitchers get more per yer, I’d say this is a solid deal.

    Is there risk? Well, duh. EVERY deal carries with it risk. But, it’s a two year deal with a total value that really isn’t all that great. Seriously, $4MM/year for a guy who could be a decent big league starter is a steal.

    I know comparing starters to relievers can be unfair at times, but this is less total money than Ryan Madsen just got for one year – and for a starting pitcher who could give you 300-350 innings over the next two years.

    Comment by MrKnowNothing — January 12, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  22. I’d rather have Vogey on a 2 year, 8.3 million dollar deal (with a 3rd year club option or not) than pickup my backup LOOGY’s 5 million dollar option–oh wait Sabean did that too.

    Comment by soladoras — January 12, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  23. yea with two of the better offenses and offensive parks in the league in the rockies at coors and the dbacks at chase…. division is kinda irrelevant

    Comment by mavery405518 — January 12, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

  24. You said it, fastball command and the cutter. Add the pitch sequencing that Righetti seems to dictate and a lot of the ‘magic’ is there to see.

    Comment by channelclemente — January 12, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

  25. i’m not going to get choked up over the whole “not being a dodger thing” because that still would be financial security for him and his family, and a possible seat mid season or earlier for him. Also there’s nothing wrong with being a Dodger. However, I believe what this article says, he just hit his peak but he did improve his game so we have to decline from his new skill. Good deal for San Fran whether or not he was highly overrated.

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen — January 12, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  26. If you’ve been a Giants fan since 1966, yes, there is something wrong with being a Dodger. Vogelsong seemed like he felt he had something in particular to prove to the team that drafted him a brought him up through their farm system. What’s more, he seemed to be on a mission to prove something to himself and I’m guessing he felt he had something to prove to his family.

    He didn’t want to be a Dodger, but from the context it seems clear that if the Giants hadn’t called right back answering his last minute plea, he would have taken the Dodgers offer. Whether it would have worked out for him the way it did in SF is a whole ‘nother matter.

    But yeah, Dude wanted to be a Giant and didn’t want to be a Dodger and that will get this old Giants fan choked up.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — January 12, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

  27. was that the year he was almost average?

    Comment by Antonio bananas — January 13, 2012 @ 8:02 am

  28. If you watched all of Vogelsong’s starts, which I did, you are struck by his intensity and focus. Lincecum has all the talent in the world but seemed bored out there sometimes, almost distracted. This is a good signing for the Giants.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — January 13, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

  29. Giants fans, I designed some T-shirts. Check it out, “like” the page, or whatever. Let me know what you think.

    Comment by Stocktopus — January 13, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

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