The Giants kept an impressive streak alive Friday when they reportedly reached a one-year, $4.225 million contract agreement with closer Will Smith. For the 15th consecutive offseason, the Giants will not take a player into a salary-arbitration hearing.
USA Today reported the agreement and the salary figure.
Smith was the Giants’ only arbitration-eligible player still unsigned ahead of Friday’s deadline for the player and team to submit proposed salaries.
If a case goes to a hearing, a three-person arbitration panel picks one figure or the other. Those hearings can get nasty, as players must sit in a conference room and listen to team officials recite all of his shortfalls in a bid to win the case.
The Giants have not had an arbitration hearing since the 2003-04 offseason, when just-acquired catcher A.J. Pierzynski beat them and got a $3.5 million salary. The Giants had offered $2.25 million.
The Giants nearly went before a panel with Tim Lincecum in 2010 and Brandon Belt in 2016. Both players settled just as hearing were set to begin.
Photo: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press
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Smith’s contract agreement does not necessarily mean he will be a Giant on Opening Day. The team is dangling some of its back-end relievers in trade talks for young outfielders and starting pitchers.
If anything, Smith’s $4.225 million salary makes him more valuable in trade talks with smaller-market contenders who do not want to pay three times that for top-end relievers in free agency.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Report-Giants-reach-one-year-deal-with-closer-13526853.php.