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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Giants Notes: Lincecum Signs, Ross to Boston

Well, even though I touched on it a little bit in our last post, I haven't really had a chance to get my thoughts out on the new Lincecum deal since he and the Giants agreed earlier in the week. Also, on the other end of things, the Giants missed out on shoring up their outfield by letting Cody Ross sign in Boston for only $3 million in 2012.

First off, obviously, wanted to talk a bit about Lincecum. I've already said here that I didn't expect him to sign a long-term deal that takes him through free agency, but it doesn't mean he wants to leave San Francisco like everyone is suspecting. I mean, if I were Lincecum, I'd probably do the same thing, even if I planned on eventually signing with the Giants long-term. Why take a chance at mitigating your value to just sign a deal? Granted, a 5 year, $100 million deal isn't anything to sneeze at, in this market, if he were a free agent, Lincecum could probably easily command a 8 year, $200 million deal. If he could get something like that in 2 years when he hits free agency, why would he sign a deal now that potentially takes a bunch of money from his pocket in the long term? At the same time though, you look at a guy like Matt Cain, who's made no bones about it, he wants to stay here, and he'll likely give the Giants a hometown discount in order to do so. People keep mentioning Jered Weaver as a comparable player to Cain and they do matchup very well. Weaver signed a five year deal with the Angels last year for just $85 million, which is probably $25 million less than he'd get on an open market, but he was more concerned with staying in Anaheim. What Lincecum's deal does do, is give this team financial certainty for the next two seasons, and now that they have that with both Sandoval and Lincecum, they can more easily assess what they can spend on someone like Cain, who'll be a free agent after the season.

I just see Lincecum as a guy who's taking his agents advice and going as close to year-to-year as possible until he'd be free to have teams compete for his services. He probably sees these 200 million dollar deals that are getting tosses out now seemingly every winter, and figures he's as sure of bet as any to land one of those when he's able and that means Lincecum will be more focused than ever over the next 2 seasons. Don't worry about Timmy, he's not going anywhere, at least anytime soon. On the other hand, we can't say the same about 2010 postseason hero Cody Ross, who Brian Sabean blatantly said would not be back after the season, then stubbornly stuck to his guns, even though Ross signed for only 3 million with Boston, less than 1/2 of what he made in 2011. I'm sure if you told Sabean back in October he could get Ross on a1 year, 3 million dollar deal, he would have been open to it, but instead it's like he wrote Ross off and never even bothered to follow up with him and see if they could come back to him later in the winter. I mean, $3 million isn't a bad deal for a league average 4th outfielder, let alone a guy like Ross who can be a legit starter and was one of the more clutch hitters the Giants have had recently. I'm having a bit of trouble getting over this one, cause right now, this team has now 4th outfielder, let alone one as versatile and talented as Ross. Heck, I kept saying all year that I think a healthy Ross would beat out either Pagan or Schierholtz for a starting spot, and at $3M, how does a team desperate for offense ignore that?

So yes, there was some good for the Giants over the last week, buying Sandoval and Lincecum through their arbitration years, but there was also some missed opportunities if you ask me. The Giants offseason business is now essentially finished, though they could still scrape the bottom of the barrel for spring training invites, and I think they could have done a better job at filling out their roster. There were some good players out there that went cheaply that could have been upgrades over players who will be on this teams' 25-man roster, and for a large market team with Championship aspirations, you look to improve your roster at every chance you get, whether it's adding additional outfielders like Ross to create competition or a utility guy like Jerry Hairston Jr. who could have really solidified the bench. The Giants were too content this winter, for a team coming off a putrid offensive season.

Again, be sure to check out The Baseball Page tonight, as I join Phil Naessens' podcast to talk about the upcoming Giants season and some of the things they did, and didn't do, this winter. I'll get a link posted up to the interview tomorrow, but they'll have it on their site tonight at 9 PM.
The Giants Baseball Blog


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