Word came down yesterday that the Giants have re-signed their own lefty specialist Jeremy Affeldt to an expected 3 year, $18M deal.
No wonder Sean Burnett declined his side of the 2013 mutual option (for $3.5M) he had in his last contract. Because clearly, if Affeldt is getting a $6M AAV contract at the age of 33 after a 3 year stint with San Francisco in which he posted a 3.09 ERA, 1.32 whip and a 117 ERA+ over 175 IP in 187 games, then Burnett should be in line for even more.
Burnett’s numbers over the last 3 years: a 2.76 ERA, 1.231 whip, 144 ERA+ and throwing 176 1/3 innings. And he’s only 29.
So, if Burnett is younger, has better numbers across the board in nearly identical IPs but throwing in much more of a hitters park than Affeldt does in San Francisco, what can we expect for Burnett’s contract demands now? 10% more than what Affeldt got? 20% more? And, more importantly, will the Nats match it and spend $6-$7M/year on a left-handed specialist?
Even more to the point, if this is the market for relievers … perhaps this team should think twice before non-tendering someone like Tom Gorzelanny, who may be a bargain at something close to his 2012 $3M/year salary.
In any case, I think one thing is clear; there’s going to be some serious money spent this off-season on players that one may not think are really that worth it. Will the Nationals jump in and spend the money they’ll need to in order to compete?