- Jim Bowden, Baseball, Insider
The San Francisco Giants were criticized in some circles for being inactive this winter, but that doesn't mean they lacked direction. Their recent success has been predicated on pitching and defense, and they stayed true to their ways on Wednesday by signing right-hander Matt Cain to a five-year, $112.5 million extension.
Cain was set to be a free agent after the 2012 season, so now the Giants have him, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner under contract through 2013, which gives them one of the best rotations in all of baseball for the next two seasons.
Obviously, any long-term deal for a pitcher carries a great deal of risk, but at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Cain has a sturdy frame that bodes well for durability. He's already proven as much by topping 200 innings in each of the past five seasons, and his ERA has been below 3.00 in two of the past three seasons. He's a classic four-pitch pitcher who would be a No. 1 starter in many rotations, and I can easily see him winning a Cy Young Award. He proved he can hang with the best of the best when he made three starts in the 2010 postseason without giving up an earned run while helping the Giants win the World Series.