Giants ink Lopez, Affeldt
Lopez has been one of the Giants’ most reliable relievers over the past two seasons, compiling a 7-2 record and a 2.38 ERA in 97 appearances since he was acquired in a trade from Pittsburgh for John Bowker on July 31, 2010. He has yet to allow a home run in a Giants uni.
Affeldt posted a 2.63 ERA, a 7.9 K/9 ratio, and a 3.5 BB/9 ratio in 67 relief appearances this past season. He was especially tough against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .144 average against. Affeldt, who cut his hand prying frozen burger patties apart last month, also saved three games, and is the next-most experienced closer on the team behind Brian Wilson, whose 2011 season was marked with back and arm problems.
Affeldt responded to the deal Sunday night by tweeting, “Black and orange one more year. Excited to be in uniform and be around so many awesome fans.”
Contrary to some Giants bloggers, I think the move to sign Lopez and Affeldt for roughly $9 million is a smart one. Both relievers were Type-B players, meaning had other teams signed them this winter, they would not be forced to give the Giants a draft pick (those types of moves are reserved for Type A free agents). Sure, the Giants would have received a supplemental draft pick, but the point is, Affeldt and Lopez were very attractive commodities to the competition out there. Also, left-handed pitchers – particularly good ones like Lopez and Affeldt — don’t exactly grown on trees.
Affeldt made $4.5 million in 2011 so this is essentially a half-million dollar raise for him. Maybe he can splurge a little and buy fresh hamburger meat now, instead of the frozen patties variety.