I have enjoyed following the free agent market this year, and I’ve tried to put a value on most of the players who have signed contracts so far. While there are plenty of contacts yet to be signed, I’d like to give the award to the best signing to the 2007 offseason to the San Francisco Giants. The Giants signed Aaron Rowand to a five-year, $60 million deal earlier this month.
Now, $12 million a year sounds like a lot for a 30-year-old center fielder; however, in comparison to his free agent competition he’s a bargain. Both Torri Hunter and Andruw Jones signed deals worth about six million more per year than Rowand’s. Jones ended up with a shorter two-year deal, while Hunter also got a five-year deal. I think Jones is a better player than both Hunter and Rowand, but I see little difference between Rowand and Hunter. I have Rowand valued at $87.8 million over the course of his contract. Basically, the Giants are getting Torii Hunter for two-thirds of the price that the Angels are paying for him.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that signing Rowand to a long-term deal was a good idea. The Giants may need to do some more work internally before becoming competitive. But at worst, if Rowand continues upon his projected path and salaries grow as they have been, Rowand is someone the Giants can move for decent prospects at a later date.