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Giants give Cain record contract

SAN FRANCISCO — When Matt Cain pondered his future, staying put in San Francisco where his career took off became the top option.

He emerged as an All-Star and front-line starter with the Giants and helped lead them to an improbable World Series championship two years ago.

Now, Cain has that hefty new contract he hoped for before opening day, awarded for what he has done and what San Francisco's brass is confident he will continue to do in a star-studded rotation.

Cain and the Giants agreed Monday to a $127.5 million, six-year contract, the largest deal for a right-handed pitcher in history.

"This is a decision that was made pretty simple for us. It was a process and it was a negotiation. It was good for my family and I to go through all of that," Cain said, his wife Chelsea in the back of the room for his news conference. "To be able to know this is probably going to be our lifetime as a Giant, that's pretty cool for us."

The agreement adds $112.5 million over five years to the $15 million salary for 2012 that remained on the All-Star's previous deal. Cain gets a $5 million signing bonus as part of the new contract and $20 million annually from 2013-17. The deal includes a $21 million option for 2018 with a $7.5 million buyout that, if exercised, would raise the total to $141 million over seven seasons.

Cain, 27, went 12-11 with a 2.88 ERA in 2011, reaching 200 innings for the fifth straight season.

The record contract for a right-hander was Kevin Brown's $105 million, seven-year deal with the Dodgers after the 1998 season.

UBALDO SUSPENDED: Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez was suspended for five games and fined by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Rockies shortstop and former teammate Troy Tulowitzki during a spring training game.

Jimenez will serve his suspension during the first five games of the season unless he asks the players' association to appeal, which manager Manny Acta expects him to do.

VOTTO DEAL PENDING: The Reds are close to signing first baseman and former NL MVP Joey Votto to an extension worth $225 million over 10 years, according to USA Today. The deal would be the fourth biggest ever and run from 2014-23.

In other Reds news, left-hander Aroldis Chapman is headed back to an injury-depleted bullpen after spending spring training getting ready to be a starter.

BRAVES: Right-hander Tim Hudson made his first appearance of the spring, allowing an infield single over two innings against the Mets. Hudson had offseason back surgery and isn't expected back until May. … Right-handed reliever Cristhian Martinez was arrested in Atlanta and charged with drunken driving. … Rookie Tyler Pastornicky, 22, was named the starting shortstop.

BREWERS: Rightfielder Corey Hart has had no issues with his surgically repaired right knee while playing in minor-league games and appears likely to be ready for opening day.

METS: Closer Frank Francisco was scheduled for an MRI exam on his left knee a day after fluid was drained.

ORIOLES: Right-hander Jake Arrieta will start the season opener Friday.

RANGERS: Outfielder Josh Hamilton is suffering from migraine headaches and is day to day.

RED SOX: New closer Andrew Bailey has been told he needs surgery on his right thumb, the Boston Globe reported. It's unknown how long he'll be out. … Right-hander Josh Beckett went to Texas to have his injured thumb examined. Manager Bobby Valentine said he expected the oft-injured starter to be ready for the season.

Giants give Cain record contract 04/02/12 [Last modified: Monday, April 2, 2012 8:46pm]
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