The San Francisco Giants just took a big prize off the 2013 free agent market on Monday, agreeing to a five-year, $112.5 million extension with starting pitcher Matt Cain. The right-hander was already under contract for $15 million this year, and his new deal locks him up through 2017, with a vesting option for 2018 - Grante Brisbee has all the details at Baseball Nation. The Cain contract could prove costly to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With the pending ownership change in Los Angeles, it has been assumed that Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and the new ownership group will try to make a big splash. Cain was one of three pitchers at the top of the food chain who were set to be free agents after 2012, joining Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke.
At the very least, Hamels will likely look at the Cain extension as a floor in his discussions with the Philadelphia Phillies, and Greinke has the shiny Cy Young Award to his resume, something Cain and Hamels can't match. In case there was any thought that one of these pitchers would come relatively cheaply, that was blown out of the water today with Cain getting $22.5 million per season.
Then there is the matter of Clayton Kershaw, who already has a Cy Young Award to his credit. The Dodgers' ace is still three years away from free agency and he signed a two-year, $19 million contract to avoid salary arbitration this winter. One of the top priorities of the new ownership group will be a long-term extension for Kershaw, who will no doubt seek for and deserve more than Cain, at least for his free agent years.
Great pitching is expensive, and the Dodgers are about to find out just how much.
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