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Murph: Re-signing Joc was a good move, and it should be only the beginning

© Benny Sieu | 2022 Sep 8

All right, Farhan. When you’re done with that Zoom call with Gabe at the local coffee shop — does Gabe have a portable Hot Spot? Starbucks WiFi? Philz? Peet’s? Can the Dodgers and Padres hack in? — let’s resume shopping.

Because you have plenty o’ cash and the Giants have plenty o’ needs.

It was interesting to note how many Giants fans were taken aback by the Giants offering Joc Pederson the $19.65 million qualifying offer.

First off, the number wasn’t plucked out of thin air. Since 2012, the qualifying offer is calculated by taking the average of the salaries of the top 125 players in baseball. So, $19.6 is an average salary for a top 125-player.

Is Joc Pederson a top 125 player? At least. In advanced metrics, he’s a top-10 guy when it comes to exit velocity and barrels/plate appearance. No joke. Pederson is 5th, right up there behind Aaron Judge, Yordan Alvarez, Giancarlo Stanton and Kyle Schwarber in average exit velocity. That’s some tall cotton, kids.

And yet, as we know from the great philosophers, life is not all about exit velocity.

Pederson’s value is diminished by a couple of factors.

  1. He can’t hit lefties. Like, at all. 
  2. He was a butcher in the outfield last year. Don’t believe me. Believe the Outs Above Average leader board, in which Pederson ranked 257th out of a possible 267 players.

(Fun fact: Juan Soto was 266th of 267! True story.)

But the point is, Joc brings value at the plate, and the Giants paid him for that value, and if it seems exorbitant — well, it’s not that exorbitant, per MLB average; and they have money to spend. They might as well spend it on a dude who brings some oomph to the park.

Pederson’s one-year salary becomes the highest on the team. It exceeds Brandon Crawford’s $16 million salary in 2023, and Alex Wood’s $14 million salary in 2023 and Tommy La Stella’s $11.5 million salary in 2023 — *each of which comes off the books in 2024.*

In fact, the Giants are currently committed in 2024 to a grand total of $28.5 million in payroll, as I was just saying to my section’s beer vendor as I paid $16 for an IPA.

Read my lips: The. Giants. Have. So. Much. Payroll. Flexibility.

So I’m not concerned that Joc got $19 mil. Hell, I’m glad they have someone who will be DH in the majority of the games who can actually hit. And I’m glad he’ll be hitting with no shift. Bottom line: it’s a good move.

Now the other bottom line: this should be the precursor to some big-time moves.

I can’t promise you Aaron Judge. In fact, after Jock Blogging about the excitement over the Randy Miller/ rumors that the Giants are all-in on Judge, a couple of developments have since cooled my jets. One, Dave Flemming — who is a much more rational man than yours truly — said it didn’t pass his “smell test”. (And I love a good smell test, particularly when it involves banana bread or Tollhouse cookies.)

And two, Hal Steinbrenner met with Judge this week and was bullish about the idea of Judge staying a Yankee. I mean, of course the Yankee president is going to say that, but still. This, on the day that Judge’s buddy Anthony Rizzo re-upped as a Yankee, and when asked why, said: “I just love being a Yankee.” Gulp. That sounds like an appealing sales pitch to the Linden Flash, Aaron Judge.

But I can hope to promise you something good will happen. Farhan is like the contestant in “The Price Is Right” who has so much money to spend on various items — with $100, you shout out that you want the blender for $25 and the beach chair for $10 and the Rice-a-Roni for $7 and on and on until you spend it all.

Judge would be nice. So would Carlos Correa or Trea Turner or Dansby Swanson or even our old pal Carlos Rodon.

Don’t worry about Joc’s salary. He hits the ball hard. He shows up at Warriors games. He’ll kill right-handed pitching.

Let’s just make sure it’s the beginning of something big. By spending already, the Giants are telling us it might be.


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