The talk got started after an article by the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo speculated that Lincecum would be traded by the San Francisco Giants.
"He will be available in trade, and it will be interesting to see who bites on the two-time Cy Young winner. The Giants insist his problems this season were strictly mechanical, but opposing teams wonder why his usual 96-mile-per-hour fastball was around 92 most of the season, and why his first-inning problems (28 runs) were the worst in baseball. Lincecum, 28, is due $22 million in the final year of his contract. Would someone take the gamble?"Pure speculation, if you're asking me, but credit the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea with at least asking Sabean the question.
And his answer.......
“Timmy’s going to be a Giant,” Sabean said.
On whether he sees Lincecum improving in next year’s rotation. Sabean said, “I think so. He set the bar so high. We set the bar so high with him. He’s got to learn what it’s like to be knocked down. He hasn’t experienced anything like this. College, minor leagues, major leagues. It’ll be interesting how he turns this around. He knows what he has to do.”
Is it a situation similar to 2010 when Lincecum turned around his game from August to September?
“No, this is more of a function of willing to accept the delivery he’s going to use to be a successful pitcher. He’s going to have to pitch more to contact. No matter what his strikeout ratio is, he’s not going to miss as many at-bats.”
So it’s more about mechanics than bulking up?
“A lot of it is the delivery. The better the delivery, the better the arm action, the better the ability to make quality pitches with pitch to pitch control.”Whether Lincecum is going to be in the bullpen next year may have been the better question, but that will not be asked until probably spring training of next season -- not before Game 7 of the NLCS.
Lincecum still has $22 million coming his way next season, and is just 28-years old.
However, his 10-15 record, with a 5.18 ERA in 2012 -- including his poor performance in Game 4 of the NLCS -- has lent itself to some major concern in San Francisco.