What a difference three days makes…
The Giants and right-hander Tim Lincecum agreed to a two-year, $35 million deal Tuesday, pending a physical. Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, was days away from becoming a free agent for the first time, but the Giants were able to get a deal done before that could happen.
Lincecum, 29, is 89-70 in seven seasons with the Giants with a 3.46 ERA. He was 10-14 last season with a 4.37 ERA and threw his first career no-hitter.
Talk about getting things done, the Giants locked up their two marquee free agents before they could hit the market. Right fielder Hunter Pence signed a five-year deal during the season’s final weekend.
Brian Sabean has two World Series to his credit in the last four years.
Original Post 10/19
In the world of interesting but unsurprising, Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that Tim Lincecum will likely test free agency this winter. The Giants have tried their best to keep him in San Francisco on a two-year deal, but it all seems to have gone for naught.
It is very likely Lincecum will get tendered a qualifying offer contract — $14.1 million — and he will decline it. Man, if my job had a qualifying offer of $14.1 million…
Once a dominant ace, “The Freak” has two Cy Young awards on his mantle from 2008 and 2009. He posted ERAs of 2.63 and 2.48 — and struck out over 250 batters in each of those seasons. However, his ERAs in 2012 and 2013 have been 5.17 and 4.37 respectively, a horrid comparison to the ace-quality performance he used to deliver.
A lot of this is likely related to his drop in fastball velocity, but man, it was such an abrupt shift for him. He also saw his HR rate spike even though AT&T Park ranked 30th and 28th in ’12/’13 for home runs given up, respectively. He worked out of the bullpen during the Giants’ 2012 post-season, and I think more than a few potential suitors might be looking at him as a back-end of the bullpen option. Hell, he could even close.
Seattle is the most likely landing spot. Remember, if Lincecum declines the qualifying offer, any team not in the first ten draft picks will have to surrender their first-round pick to sign him. I think that will go a long way in determining how interested teams really are in him — a team like Seattle has no reason to worry. There’s a definite fit there because it is his hometown and a pitcher’s park at that. Baggardly notes in his piece that the Mariners had a scout sent to his last start as well.
The Mets have had this weird draft pick pattern since Sandy’s been here… 13th in 2011, 12th in 2012, 11th in 2013, and 10th in 2014. With the 10th pick, they could sign a free agent that turned down a qualifying offer and have their pick protected — but I doubt they’d shell out the money to sign Lincecum. I also think teams like the Yankees might stray away from him considering the loss of a draft pick. He’s not a guy that I would surrender a first-round pick for at this point in his career, anyway.
I would pay attention to this whole business of qualifying offers, however. If the Mets were actually to make some big free agent signing, this would hypothetically be the best year. Certain players will be more accessible to the Mets because of this new CBA. The Mets will, however, likely be more interested in guys like Johan Santana and Bronson Arroyo to fill out their rotation.