How Logan Webb, Giants reached long-term agreement on contract extension

How Webb, Giants reached agreement on contract extension originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO -- As he sat in the dugout at Oracle Park two years ago, knowing his playing career had just ended, Buster Posey did his best to point the Giants toward a different future. He had been the face of the franchise for a decade, and he knew exactly which player the organization should build around once he was gone. He had just caught him for seven brilliant innings.

"Webby is a great start," Posey said a few minutes after the National League Division Series ended in 2021. "I'm excited for him and really excited for the Giants organization just to have a young pitcher like that to build around."

On Friday, both sides finally committed to that dream.

The Giants and Webb agreed to a five-year, $90 million extension that should keep him in San Francisco through the 2028 season and will give him a chance to join Posey, Matt Cain and almost certainly Brandon Crawford as players who were drafted by the organization and never left. He won't hit free agency until he is 32 years old, a sacrifice for one of the game's best young pitchers, but one he was willing to make.

"It was just important for me to be able to say I can wear a Giants uniform for a long time," Webb said during a Zoom press conference. "It's important for not only myself, but my family, and especially my community back home. I know they're very excited. There's a lot of diehard Giants fans in Rocklin, California. This is where I wanted to be. It's an honor."

Webb made sure that was never a secret during negotiations that didn't gain much traction in the offseason and looked dead in the water after the Giants made a much lighter long-term offer in January. They agreed instead to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, but Webb's side and Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi stayed in touch.

While some players set Opening Day deadlines or prefer that their agents do all of the negotiating, Zaidi found that Webb wanted to be an active participant. He left no doubt that San Francisco was where he wanted to be, and if Zaidi needed more evidence, all he needed to do was glance up into the family section, where Webb's grandmothers, parents, brother and wife are regulars, along with seemingly half of Rocklin.

"I had a couple of one-on-one conversations with Logan and if we ever hit a roadblock, just hearing him talk about how much he wanted to be here and the leadership role that he wanted to assume, it was genuine but also some good salesmanship," Zaidi said, laughing. "When you're in a front office position and you hear a player talk like that it gets you really excited. He had a big part in keeping things going throughout the process."

From a baseball perspective, the agreement is a no-brainer, and finally gives this rotation a long-term anchor, one who should be around to welcome Kyle Harrison, Mason Black, Reggie Crawford, Carson Whisenhunt and others the organization is high on. For the Giants, that will be a throwback to the days when Cain, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner led the clubhouse.

Team officials have denied that the Giants now have an organizational philosophy about starting pitcher contracts, but it's not hard to find the trend. They let Kevin Gausman -- a friend and mentor to Webb -- find his five-year deal elsewhere, never coming close to signing the right-hander to a long-term extension. A year later, Carlos Rodón replaced Gausman as Webb's co-ace. He found his offseason riches with the New York Yankees. The Giants pivoted to two-year deals for Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling, which have been their preference.

Webb's contract replaces Anthony DeSclafani's three-year, $36 million deal as the longest and most lucrative given out to a pitcher since Zaidi took over. Because the Carlos Correa deal fell apart, the Webb extension is easily the largest contract handed out by this front office. The previous high was Mitch Haniger's $43.5 million deal.

Zaidi admitted that these negotiations were "not the easiest" given Webb's success the past two seasons but also the fact that he was nearly three full seasons from free agency. The agreement buys out his final two seasons of arbitration, plus three of free agency.

"Ultimately, I think there was a real shared interest in getting the ball across the finish line," Zaidi said.

The Giants have not committed long-term to a homegrown player since Brandon Belt's first deal, but they haven't had many opportunities. They're hoping that changes in the years to come, and Webb has talked openly about how he wants to be at the forefront. He has become friends with Harrison, who could join him in the rotation as soon as this season, and is a regular at the minor league facility in the offseason.

Webb and his wife, Sharidan, now spend most of their downtime in Arizona, but Rocklin still is home, and Webb mentioned several times Friday how it's "an honor" to represent his hometown team for years to come. He said it blows him away that kids in Rocklin now wear his jersey. He remembers vividly how it was Posey, Lincecum, Crawford and others who were represented when he was growing up.

Webb had a lot of conversations with Crawford -- who signed a six-year, $75 million deal when he was in a similar situation -- about what to expect during the process. Like Crawford, he could never picture being anywhere else but the Bay Area.

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That became the reality for Posey, too, even though he was originally from Georgia. Posey became so ingrained in the organization that he's now part of the ownership group, and when that was made official last September, Webb sent his former catcher a text.

"I know who to talk to now when I hit free agency," he joked at the time.

On Friday, the Giants made sure that won't happen for a long, long time.

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