Not much Giants news going on this week. Basically everyone is waiting for the arbitration cases of Brian Wilson, Jonathan Sanchez, and most importantly, Tim Lincecum, to come through. However, the Giants have retained one of their bullpen pieces from last season. The team has announced that they’ve come to an agreement with RHP Brandon Medders on a 1-year deal worth $850K — which represents a $400K raise over Medders 2009 salary.
Medders first season with the Giants was a successful one on the surface. The 29-year-old (he turns 30 at the end of this month) posted a 3.01 ERA in 68.2 innings of work. By FIP we can see that Medders was slightly lucky when you consider some of his peripherals. He struck out 7.6 batters per 9 innings which is around average for a reliever. But, he walked 4.19 batters per 9 innings which is slightly worse than what the average NL reliever did last year. Medders ended up posting a 4.07 FIP (4.49 xFIP) while pitching in neutral leveraged situations.
It all adds up to a +0.3 win season for Medders. His career numbers, underlying peripherals, and stuff indicate that he’s most likely a league average reliever at best going forward. And replacement-level at worst. CHONE projects a 4.57 FIP and Marcel 4.59 FIP. Being league average has some value, but Medders absolute upside is what he did in ’09. Non-elite relievers like Medders can really vary from season-to-season so don’t be surprised if he doesn’t finish the year with the Giants.