One of the most interesting stories this hot stove season went up in smoke on Tuesday.
Lincecum will be paid a total of $35 million the next two seasons and will get a full no-trade clause to stay with the Giants, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. That's a lot of money, though nowhere near the total or length we once thought Lincecum might have garnered after winning two Cy Youngs and a World Series in his first three big league seasons. And even though his stats dropped the past two seasons, Lincecum would have likely still earned more on the free agent market, which is relatively thin on starting pitching and featured potentially interested suitors like his hometown Seattle Mariners.
But his decision to stay with the only franchise he's ever known without testing those hard-earned free agent waters show the respect and comfort that both sides have with each other. Lincecum isn't exactly hurting for money, either, as his stellar first 4+ seasons — he went 69-41 with 2.98 ERA and 1,127 strikeouts from 2007-11 — allowed him to set records for an arbitration-eligible player. He's earned a career total of $64 million and commanded $22 million for his services in 2013.
Lincecum opting for a shorter contract also shows the confidence he has in himself. After going a combined 20-29 with a 4.76 ERA and 72 ERA+ the last two seasons, he's well served to stay in a familiar pitcher's park like AT&T Park while building his case for that big money deal we once assumed was a lock. He'll be 31 when this deal expires, which leaves plenty of time for Lincecum to pursue a longer-term deal.
Until then, Lincecum and the Giants will be happy to continue one of the best-matched player-team combinations in baseball. Timmah!
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Tim Lincecum
- San Francisco Giants