Heart in SF: Vogelsong re-signs with Giants
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Vogelsong officially returned to the Giants on Friday, as the right-hander signed a one-year deal to remain with the team that first drafted him and to which he returned in 2011.
Vogelsong, whose contract is reportedly worth $4 million, provides the Giants depth, as well as much-needed stability.
"We appreciate Ryan signing back with us," general manager Brian Sabean said. "He's been on our radar all offseason. Though we at times have pursued other options, we know what Ryan has brought to the table, and his contributions have not only been timely but I think contagious to the organization. I think some of our consistency, the hallmark of success, is competition and depth, and he certainly has created that by re-signing with us."
Despite finishing 8-13 with a 4.00 ERA last season, Vogelsong made 32 starts, exceeded among the Giants only by Madison Bumgarner's 33. Since joining the rotation in 2011, he has compiled a 39-35 record with a 3.74 ERA. San Francisco emerged victorious in all seven of his postseason starts in 2012 and '14.
It was widely assumed that Vogelsong would head elsewhere after Jake Peavy signed a two-year deal on Dec. 23. However, about two weeks afterward, it was learned that Tim Hudson underwent right ankle surgery, reviving the Giants' interest in Vogelsong.
The right-hander nearly went elsewhere this week, visiting Houston and taking a physical with the rebuilding Astros. He even dined with manager A.J. Hinch. Ultimately, he said "divine intervention" led him back to San Francisco.
That, and his wife.
"I have a wife [Nicole] that loves San Francisco and loves the fans," Vogelsong said, "and I've got her chirping in my ear every two seconds.
"I'm back where I wanted to be and back where my family wanted to be. I've told you guys in the past that I've always considered myself a Giant. Even when I took my little detour there, there's not really any place I'd rather play."
Of the Astros, Vogelsong said he "really wasn't comfortable with what was going on," though he didn't divulge specifics, even when asked.
"I had great meetings with them," he said. "Ultimately, my decision, I felt I needed to be back in San Francisco."
The Giants' current projected rotation consists of Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Peavy and Hudson. But Hudson and Cain (right elbow, right ankle) are coming off surgeries, though both are expected to be ready for the regular season. Lincecum is attempting to regain his form after ending last season in the bullpen. Peavy recorded a 6.19 ERA in four postseason starts. Swingman Yusmeiro Petit never has started for a full season in the Major Leagues.
Even Bumgarner, the World Series hero, must be watched carefully after working 270 innings, including a record 52 2/3 during the pressure-packed postseason in 2014.
Vogelsong, then, could seemingly find his way into the rotation by season's start, though he said he will fill whatever role is asked of him, even if it's in the bullpen.
"I know what I signed up for and they've been very up front with me," he said. "As a player, that's all you can ask for. I signed up to do whatever they've asked me to do. I take the ball when they tell me to take it and I give it back when they take it from me."