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

LeBron James on four-game losing streak: 'I stink'

Report: Johnny Manziel and his entourage involved in brawl

Report: Mariners sign Kyle Seager to $100 million extension

Reports confirm Ryan Mallett is out for the season

Golden Tate: Loss to Patriots was 'embarrassing'

Pete Carroll: Beating Cards ‘best feeling we’ve had all year’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola over cheap shot

Tom Brady: ‘It’s fun going to Lambeau’

Anquan Boldin after exchange with Jim Haslett: He’s irrelevant

Ryan Mallett reportedly could be done for season

Report: Sandoval agrees to deal with BoSox, agent denies report

Report: Red Sox set to add Hanley Ramirez

The top 25 greatest rivalries in college football history

WATCH: Tom Brady sits down for interview with Randy Moss

UNC vandalized Duke locker room with spray paint after win

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez highlight Hall of Fame ballot

Sales of Odell Beckham Jr.'s jersey on the rise

RG3 struggles again, Redskins offense stuck in neutral

12 amazing stats from Week 12

Hockey Fights of the Week

Three head coaches who won't be with current team in 2015

Katy Perry confirmed as Super Bowl XLIX halftime performer

10 takeaways from Sunday's Week 12 NFL action

WWE Survivor Series results: Sting debuts, Team Cena wins

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.

Greatest college football rivalries

LeBron on losing streak: 'I stink'

Report: Manziel, friends get in brawl

Tate: Loss to Pats was 'embarrassing'

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola

Boldin on Haslett: He's irrelevant

Pablo Sandoval signs with Red Sox?

Beckham makes the catch of the season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 12

WWE Survivor Series results

Report: Red Sox set to add Hanley Ramirez

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

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.