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Trickle Down Effect: What The Matt Cain Deal Means For Others

Today we learned of two huge signings. One of which was the Matt Cain extension with the San Francisco Giants coming in at 5 years and $110 million.

Here are some facts about the trade, and what it means for the rest of baseball after the jump:

The biggest question that this deal raises is exactly what FOX Sport's Ken Rosenthal points out about Cole Hamels. Since 2006 (Matt Cain's first full season) the two stack up pretty identical.

Cain: 1269.0 IP, 7.48 K/9, 3.22 BB/9, 0.74 HR/9, 3.40 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 23.5 WAR

Hamels: 1158.1 IP, 8.47 K/9, 2.27 BB/9, 1.09 HR/9, 3.39 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 23.1 WAR

It stands to reason that these players, if both were to be re-signed before hitting the Free Agency Market would be worth similar values. Hamles being only one year older than Cain certainly helps his case. Being a LH pitcher certainly adds to his value as well. The top 5 SP salaries (7 total) have 4 South-Paws in the list. If Hamels holds out, he could line himself up nicely to climb that list and make close to CC Sabathia type money at a younger age.(Clearly, quality LH are at a premium, if you look at the 5 year/$85 million extension Jered Weaver signed with similar statistics over the same period). It would be advantageous for him to do so, since numerous teams would be in the bidding to drive the Phillies out of the market;who already have $112+ on payroll for next season, and presumably a modest pay raise to Hunter Pence entering his last year of Arbitration.

The Giants certainly save themselves some time as they wait for Barry Zito to come off their books to solidify a contract, presumably in equal value for Tim Lincecum. Deals like this are why we have seen the New York Yankees trade one of the most highly touted prospects for young quality pitching. Although Pineda will be starting the season on the DL, team control for the future is a key factor for payroll flexibility. The aging Phillies are losing this flexibility, especially with sure acquisitions to sure up often injured infielders.