Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/15/14
The odd pattern of middle relievers signing multi-year deals looks like it will continue on Tuesday as the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants will be the latest to join the party. Jeremy Affeldt, who has been a key cog in the Giants bullpen over the past four seasons, is close to inking a three year deal worth a reported $18 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The total will be finalized when it is announced Tuesday. Affeldt, who will be signed for his age 34-36 seasons, has had great success as a Giant, throwing out an ERA+ of 139 over 237 1/3 innings as a Giant. The trend of signing middle relievers has been long derided in sabermetric circles due to the fungible nature of relief pitchers, but the Giants are betting on Affeldt to be the solid hand he’s been over the past four years. The problem is that Affeldt is beginning what should be his decline phase, and although the Giants have gotten a lot from him and has helped the team to two World Series titles, the reliever that lives up to a multi-year contract is rare. Affeldt did live up to the two year contract he signed before the 2011 season after his great 2010, but asking a reliever to do that twice is quite the risk. Of course, the big comparison for Affeldt will be to Brandon League, who recently signed a three year deal himself for more guaranteed money with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But over the last four years, Affeldt has been a lot better than League in many key categories. League’s increased annual value most likely came from both his track record as a closer (although that was spotty and got better only when he moved to the weaker National League) and the money the Dodgers are willing to throw out to players to keep them in Dodger blue.  With an offseason ahead that should see Brian Sabean focus on re-signing players like Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro and at least kicking the tires on a Buster Posey extension, this continues a Sabean trend of an early free agent signing that doesn’t exactly wow baseball minds, following up recent deals like the latest ones he doled out to Freddy Sanchez and Aubrey Huff. Time will tell if even with the bad voodoo surrounding multi-year reliever contracts that Affeldt could once again buck the trend. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.