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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Giants Should Wise Up With Lincecum

As we inch closer and closer to the spring training reporting date for pitchers and catchers, it's becoming more and more likely that the Giants and Tim Lincecum will need to go through a hearing to determine the right-hander's salary for the 2010 season.

There has been so much on this topic bandied about throughout the cyber world and sports talk radio/TV shows, so we've tried to stick with on-field topics rather than continue to beat this topic to death. I just don't understand why the Giants are toying with their most important piece of their franchise, and risking the possibility of irritating the 2-time Cy Young Award winner. And offering him $8 million for 2010 season has to be insulting to Timmy. He's still saying all the right things regarding the situation, but I seem to be picking up a little frustration from him as this thing continues to drag out. He's taking a "whatever" type approach to this situation, which I take as meaning one of two things. Either he's seriously getting fed up with the Giants and this contract situation, or he really does not care too much, and I highly doubt it's the ladder. The Giants are paying Barry Zito $18 million in 2010, and for them to offer Lincecum less than 1/2 of that after what he's done for the franchise over the last two seasons is the epitome of a low-ball offer. Especially after Lincecum went relatively low on his request ($13 million) even though he probably could have went up to $15-17 million like the other elite pitchers in this league are earning. The Giants need to hammer something out with this kid and they need to make him happy. Tim Lincecum has single-handily allowed this city to transition from the Bonds-era nearly flawlessly and he's now the guy who the fans will pile up at the gates too see, but the Giants seem to think that's worth just $8 million?

Right now, the ultimate goal for the Giants management needs to be locking Lincecum up long-term but if they continue to drag this out, he may not want to do so. Heck, if he keeps on pitching like he has over the last 2 seasons, he could keep earning $17 million in arbitration for the next few years until he becomes a free agent. I don't think that will happen, and I do think the Giants will eventually lock him up long term, but I'm not a supporter of the way they've handled this situation thus far and it's on them to make it right.

Other news to come out of this weekends fanfest was that Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean are counting on Nate Schierholtz rising up to take hold of the rightfield starting job, but they didn't dismiss Jon Bowker, Fred Lewis and Eugenio Velez as options. Boch says the position will be determined in the spring, but the only other legit option I see for the Giants in rightfield is Jon Bowker (seems like everyones given up on Fred Lewis), but unless Bowker completely outplays Nate in the Cactus League, Schierholtz will be out in right come opening day. Schierholtz has the upper hand defensively, as he's considered the teams best defensive outfielder, and has very strong and accurate throwing arm, two traits that translate well in AT&T Park's quirky and spacious right-field. The only question regarding on Schierholtz is whether he'll hit enough to carry a corner-outfield spot. Randy Winn isn't exactly leaving huge shoes to fill as he hit just .262 with 2 homers and 51 RBI last year, but the Giants are hoping to get much more production out of right field this year. If Nate indeed wins the job out of spring, like I'm expecting him to do if the Giants don't add another outfielder from outside the organization, he's got to improve his average and needs to get on base more than last season (.267 and .302 OBP). He says he's done a lot of work this winter with his swing and approach and if he can reach his potential, he's capable of hitting right around .300 or higher with moderate power (12-17 homers).
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Hitnrun said…

    Thank you Trevor. I said the exact same thing on another blog site, and a lot of people said that 8 million was NOT a low-ball offer and that it was fair according to his service time and being a "super 2" etc. It is crap to screw with your franchise player, unless you want to see him walk to the Yankees the first chance he gets, and that is the bottom line. I feel that his request of 13 million was already a "home town" discounted offer, and Neukom is crazy not to settle up. It is not Lincecum's fault that Sabean blew the payroll on Zito, Rowand, and Renteria. Maybe Neukom should ask Zito and Rowand to take pay cuts so that he can afford to up the ante to Lincecum. Otherwise get rid of Sabean and find someone who can spend the dollars more wisely.

  • At 7:07 PM, Anonymous campanari said…

    Maybe if L offered to sign a long-term contract, rather than offer the prospect of going to arb year after year, with hefty raises each time off the $13m base, both sides would be happy.

  • At 2:42 AM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I don't think it will go to arb year after year, but I do think it will this time around, for various reasons beyond just Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants. But I do expect them to complete a multi-year extension at some point during the season or early next off-season. Breathe easy though, cause no matter what, he's under control with SF through the 2012 season and could only leave on their terms.


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