Source: #SFGiants’ deal with Ryan Vogelsong is two years (plus option) at $8 million.
Vogelsong was pegged for something in the range of $3MM to $4MM, though Matt Swartz’s arbitration projections had him at $2.5MM. In any event, his case was clearly a bit unusual.
Vogelsong was awesome this year, and there’s no denying that. In 179.2 innings — 28 starts — he allowed 62 runs, posted a 132 ERA+, and racked up 3.7 wins above replacement. His peripherals (18.5 K%, 8.1 BB%) weren’t quite as stellar, but he did rate fairly well by most of the defensive-independent pitching metrics: 3.67 FIP/3.85 xFIP/3.97 SIERA, and 2.4 wins above replacement by Fangraphs’ FIP-based implementation.
Chances are, Vogelsong won’t be posting a sub-3 ERA again. In fact, there’s a good chance he won’t stay below 4 in 2012. For what it’s worth, ZiPS projects him for a 93 ERA+ over 153 innings in 2012. Given that Vogelsong is coming off of his only year of success in the majors, and that he wasn’t in the majors the four years preceding 2011, he’s still somewhat of an unknown. In other words, he’s harder to project over the next couple years than the average pitcher, given his unique progression.
If he does hit those projected ZiPS figures though, he’ll more or less be paid what he’s worth in 2012, and then overpaid thereafter (but nothing that would cripple financial flexibility). If he manages to repeat his 2011 success, or just be a slightly above-average starter over the course of a full season in 2012, it could turn out to be a pretty nice thing to have him under contract in 2013. I’m guessing the Giants think there’s a decent shot that Vogelsong will be a pitcher worth keeping in 2014, but right now, I don’t expect they’ll be picking up that option.
Anyway: not a bad deal, not a bargain. Just an okay deal. I would have preferred a one-year deal with, say, an option for 2013, but oh well. I don’t have too much to complain about here.