Thirty one year old Mark Melancon has agreed to terms with the San Fransico Giants for 4 years and 63 million dollars, pending physical according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. This is the move that seems to make sense for both parties, and has been heavily linked to all offseason. Melacon’s deal is the highest paid contract to a reliever in major league history, breaking Jonathan Papelbon’s 50 million he received in 2011. The deal will be around 15.5 AAV a bump up from Melancon's 9.6 million in 2016.
Melancon has converted 131 saves in the last 3 seasons with the Pirates and Nationals, while only blowing 10 saves in the process. He has had a sub 2 ERA twice in the past three seasons, while never posting a FIP higher than 3. His WAR of 7.9 ranks him 3rd highest among all relievers since the 2013 season, behind fellow free agents, Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman. Melancon already being 31, and not tied to a draft pick compensation people had figured he would be the first closer off the market. Chapman and Jansen both should be looking at larger deals than Melancon accepted.
Melancon fills a giant-sized hole that the Giants had in 2016. The Giants ranked fifteenth in bullpen ERA at 3.65 and were only able to convert 58.9 percent of chances, 5th worst in the league in 2016. They blew 30 total saves last year, which Melancon hopes to fix heading into the 2017 season. The Giants still may not be done trying to fix their bullpen, with Brad Ziegler being looked at by 9/10 past postseason teams according to Chris Cotillo. Ziegler would be a logical addition to the Giants as well. Overall, this was a fit that most people said made sense on paper and the Giants smartly worked quick to get it done.