Giants extended Sabean's deal last season
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants quietly extended Brian Sabean's contract late last season, keeping the general manager with the club through at least 2006.
"It's a matter of semantics," Sabean said, noting either side could have taken the first step to exercise the mutual option. "Everybody enjoys a vote of confidence, and I sure have enjoyed my time here. It's a great group of people to work with. I can't imagine being anywhere else. It's always nice to get a pat on the back."
Sabean received a multiyear extension that contains mutual option language, executive vice president and chief operating officer Larry Baer said Tuesday. But the team never formally announced it.
"I think it was just a mutual agreement, him and us, that it's business as usual," Baer said. "We see him being the general manager here for a long time. Both sides are very happy. He's done a phenomenal job. In our minds he's one of, if not the premier, general manager in the game, and certainly among the elite general managers."
Sabean became the club's general manager before the 1997 season and was the architect behind NL West titles in 1997, 2000 and 2003, and a pennant winner in 2002. Only the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves have won more games during Sabean's eight-year tenure -- the Giants are 738-557 with him in charge.
"You look at his record and what he's done very creatively," Baer said. "Since he's been general manager, we haven't had a losing season and we've won three division titles."
Baer and owner Peter Magowan meet frequently with Sabean, whose contract was extended through the 2005 season last spring training along with manager Felipe Alou's contract.
"There was no mystery on anybody's part that he was going to remain here. It was just a matter of finding time to do it," Baer said. "Brian's not one to call attention to himself.
"Brian's personality is not such that he's a chest thumper."
Assistant GM Ned Colletti is also under a long-term contract.
The Oakland Tribune first reported the story Tuesday.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press