Monday, January 2, 2012

San Francisco Giants Speculation: Tim Lincecum Trade Possible

The words "sizable gap" were scattered around the baseball world this past week when it came to the San Francisco Giants and Tim Lincecum.

Those are definitely not the words Giants fans want to hear when talking about their team in contract talks with their pride and joy, long-haired magician on the mound.

Reportedly, the Giants offered Lincecum $80 million for four years over the summer, and that offer has been upped in recent weeks. However, Lincecum has been adamant in his stance on wanting an eight-year contract and getting paid. It would be the first substantial payday of his MLB career, after making just $650,000 per year the first four years and a little over $11 million per year since these past two.

Lincecum, who will be a free agent after the 2013 season, reportedly wants loyalty in the form of a large sum of money for a large number of years, and it seems it does not necessarily have to be from the Giants.

The last time San Francisco gave a big-time contract to a pitcher was Barry Zito for seven years and $126 million. You can understand the hesitation of the Giants' part.

But Lincecum is different, right?

A two-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion has to mean something to the Giants franchise. However, a contract like Zito's sticks with a ballclub, the general manager that made it and the fanbase surrounding it, no matter how different these players are.

The problem here is not the eight years, although that number is large for a 5'10", 165 lbs. pitcher with an unorthodox motion to the plate. The problem is the risk of failure, and given the information in the previous sentence, that risk may be growing higher every year they give Lincecum that paycheck.

With that said, eight years is a large risk for a GM like Sabean, who still wears the $18 million per year to Zito, and the Giants franchise that cannot afford to miss or risk setting their ballclub back several years.

In any case, this potentially leaves the Giants with two options if eight years is too much: Trade Lincecum or hope he agrees to accept short-term deals of no more than two years.

The trade could give the Giants much-needed prospects or much-needed hitters, and the short-term deal could buy both Lincecum and the Giants time, as well as involve less risk for the franchise.

Who knows what the most likely scenario is now?

For the Giants, a trade may be the safest.

It rids the Giants of a very possible plunge if Lincecum goes down with injury, which many baseball minds believe could happen any season now given his calculated, yet unorthodox, motion to the plate and including his small, yet powerful, frame. Baseball scouts say it does not add up, and an eight-year contract may lead the Giants' decision-makers to think the same.

You give an eight-year contract to a fully-built workhorse, not a small-framed pothead, right?

San Francisco has a decision to make between Lincecum and fellow starter Matt Cain. Do they sign one or both?

Lincecum's recent actions may have them leaning towards settling for Cain and risking less by potentially acquiring more and dealing Lincecum this season.


  1. Lincecum is indeed an awesome pitcher but...ONE player DOES NOT win championships!

  2. pay the man. we need timmy. any true giants fan knows that

  3. Everyone is justified in their reasoning for either signing Lincecum or trading him on this issue, but there is a lot to say about giving an 8 yr contract to any pitcher, or hitter, for that matter.

    Honestly, there are pluses to trading him than keeping him, but the fact that Lincecum is a tremendous pitcher with a large fanbase in SF is the reason this decision will be tough for the Giants.

  4. I seriously doubt I'd give a guy like, say,Nolan Ryan an 8 year contract. Remember Sam Mcdowell.

  5. The risks far outway the odds he pitches well for six of those 8 yrs. In the position Sabean is in with the Zito contract under his belt, the 8 yr contract stands not even a chance.

    Offer the 1-2 yr deals or trade him for some potential bats

  6. Risk-reward is definitely the key; there is 1 stark recent example of an 8-year contract, and everyone here knows about it. Does Lincecum = Zito? Probably not. (Hopefully not). But as beloved as Tim Lincecum is today around the Bay, would he be so if he blew out his shoulder in year 3 of an 8-year top-dollar contract? Probably not. No player would.

    I read the Giants would go as far as 4 year $80 (effectively doubling their alleged 2 year $40+; seems like $20+/year is the metric); if true that appears to be a good "meet halfway" deal the Giants and Lincecum could strike.

    Hopefully nothing crazy happens in arbitration, because I think most Giants fans want to see Lincecum pitching in a Giants uniform again; but not at the expense of the team for years. If it comes to that, broker a good trade and make the most of it to improve the rest of the team.

  7. Sounds like we're thinking the same here. Personally, if he blows out his shoulder in yr 3, i will be livid. Now, the Giants trading Lincecum is neither sides' first choice in this matter. No way. 1-2 yr deals sounds good to me, unless Lincecum wants to accept that 4 yr deal for $80 mil, which sounds unlikely right now.

    Cant blame Lincecum, though. The Giants have received a deal with how much they are paying him to win 2 Cy Youngs this far into his career, and now he wants to get paid just like every other high-profile player in the MLB. It is up to Sabean & Co. to come up with a good strategy through all this and come out winners in one way or another on the other side.