March 1, 2006
Scottsdale, Ariz. - Talk about a bounty of riches. Since July 30, center fielder Randy Winn has been traded to his hometown Giants, named National League Player of the Month for September and been given a spot on the U.S. team for the World Baseball Classic. Tuesday brought perhaps his biggest prize.
Winn and the Giants agreed to a three-year extension through 2009 that will pay Winn, who went to San Ramon Valley High and Santa Clara University, $23.25 million. After completing his current deal, worth $5 million for 2006, Winn will earn $7 million for 2007 and $8.125 million for each of the two following years, making him the first Giant signed through '09. The contract is similar to the three-year, $22 million extension A's center fielder Mark Kotsay signed in June.
Winn also gets complete no-trade rights for 2006 and 2007 with limited no-trade rights the following two seasons, when he can veto 10 teams per year.
"It just kind of all happened so fast," Winn said. "The World Baseball Classic came out of nowhere to me. I didn't think I'd be on the team at all. That happened kind of quickly to me. Now, the contract happened. I can't complain.
"It almost sounds too good to be true. Growing up as a kid, you always dream about what might be, if you do make it to the big leagues, what team you might play for. This is really been kind of a dream come true, to make it to the big leagues, and now that I've established myself, to come back home and play for a tremendous organization."
Winn hit .359 with 14 homers, 26 RBIs and a .391 on-base percentage during his two months as a Giant in 2005, but that alone did not pique the Giants' interest in an extension for the 31-year-old. Rather, it was Winn's consistency. In each of the last four seasons, he has had at least 177 hits, 84 runs, 34 doubles, 11 homers, 63 RBIs and 19 steals. Winn's career average is .288.
The Giants rarely give extensions to players a year away from free agency, preferring to make them earn a new deal in their walk years. General manager Brian Sabean views Winn differently.
"As a GM, to get a switch-hitter who's a leadoff hitter with a lot of dimensions -- power, speed, the ability to play the outfield the way he does -- is a godsend to the organization," Sabean said. "The opportunity was great, the timing was wonderful and he's very deserving."
Said manager Felipe Alou: "We ran into a player last year who I believe is at the peak of his game right now. For the Giants to be able to sign him long-term is a tremendous happening, not only because of the player he is but also the man he is."