Fresh off of winning their second World Series in three years, the San Francisco Giants have come to terms with Jeremy Affeldt, re-signing the left-hander to a three-year, $18 million.
Considering how high the Dodgers set the bar for signing serviceable but replaceable relievers, the Giants did well enough in keeping the total amount far more reasonable, though they could still end up overpaying by as much as $10 million.
Affeldt, 33, turned in the best relief season of his 11-year career, totaling just over one win above replacement to go along with a 2.70 ERA and his best strikeout rate — 8.10 K/9 — since 2008. He was, however, quite lucky in terms of homeruns allowed — 0.14 HR/9 — and he’s a strong candidate to regress once that total normalizes next season.
And despite the unfortunate track record of odd injuries — he missed 19 games because of a laceration from separating frozen hamburgers and another 13 from a minor knee injury caused by his kid — Affeldt’s been rather durable since becoming a full-time reliever, pitching at least 50 innings every year since 2007.
He did lose nearly 2MPH on his fastball this season, but he relied less on that — he threw it only 58.6%, down 71.4% of the time only two seasons prior — and compensated by throwing his splitter more than 13% of the time. He’s also helped himself by continuing to improve his walk rates over the last three seasons as well.
Assuming he averages about 0.5 fWAR per season over the life of his contract — a reasonable amount given his past three year track record of 0.1, 0.1, and 1.1 — he’ll be worth about $8 million. And that’s assuming he won’t lose any significant time to injury.
Either way, though, the Giants overpaid. Or underpaid if your using the Dodgers’ economic plans.
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