Javier Lopez is back!  Damn, that means no draft picks for him…

EDIT: Now, so is Jeremy Affeldt.  $9.25 million for two left-handed relievers.  Somewhere, Bill James is either laughing or crying.

Seriously, though, this is a big player to come back for the Giants.  Lopez was the kind of setup man that the Giants need….meaning, Bochy could always count on him for a lefty-on-lefty situation, and he could also get righties out when Bochy was too tired/asleep to take him out before a right-handed batter came up.

The deal’s for $4.25 million each season (a total of $8.5 million for those of you who can’t find a calculator right away), which means that Sabean isn’t still in love with the backloaded deals that kept the Giants paying for Edgardo Alfonzo and Armando Benitez for years.  That’s a good thing…it’ll make calculating how to pay for Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson long-term easier.

Meanwhile, #1 lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt still has a $5 million option available to be picked up by Monday.  I don’t think there’s any way the Giants pick up that option.  They’ll want to give him a new contract, with specific limits in regards to non-game activities.  Like, from now on, he’ll have to have all of his BBQ’s catered.

EDIT: So, Affeldt is back as well, without attempting to renegotiate a lower deal.  I guess the Giants really want to lock up their bullpen.  Maybe this is all a negotiating ploy to convince Matt Cain to resign.  They’re saying “See?  We’ve got guys who can hold onto one-run leads to get you wins.”  I sure hope Cain isn’t holding out for an offensive signing to help get some offense so they aren’t always one-run leads.  That’d just be un-San Franciscan.