Friday, October 25, 2013

Pitcher Tim Lincecum re-signs with San Francisco Giants for $35 million

San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Tim Lincecum decided to re-sign with the MLB club on October 22 rather than test the waters as a free agent during the offseason. The pitching ace and the Giants came to an agreement on a two-year deal worth a total of $35 million. Lincecum has been with the west coast ball club since they drafted him back in 2006 in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft.

The right-handed pitcher just needed to pass his physical to make the deal official.

The Giants were prepared to ante up $14 million in a qualifying offer, which would have allowed the
team to receive draft-pick compensation had Lincecum signed elsewhere as a free agent. Bobby Evans, the assistant general manager and vice president of the Giants, said the team began discussing a new contract with the pitcher before the regular season ended. He said he realized Lincecum would have been one of the best free-agent pitchers available along with Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Matt Garza.

However, it’s debatable if he would have received an offer as good as the one the Giants gave him, which averages out to $17.5 million per season. Between the 2007 and 2011 seasons he was among the best in the league as he compiled a record of 69-41 to go along with an ERA of 2.98. He also took home the National League Cy Young Award twice in that period and was named the Most Valuable Player in the 2010 playoffs by the New York division of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Things haven’t been going as well in the past couple of seasons though as Lincecum’s record over that time fell to 20-29 while his ERA rose to 4.76. In 2012 he had 15 losses, which were the most in the NL and he also owned the league’s worst ERA among regular starters at 5.18. During the previous four seasons hitters batted .223 off of him and in the last two years they hit .252 and belted 44 home runs. Lincecum managed to shine in last year’s postseason though when his ERA was just .069 when used as a reliever in five games, helping the Giants win the World Series.

His high point in the 2013 season came in July when he threw 148 pitches and earned a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. He has also managed to earn at least 10 wins in each of the last half dozen seasons, along with just nine other Major League pitchers. Jeremy Affeldt, a teammate of Lincecum in San Francisco said, "I think some of his numbers were a little skewed. I think the bullpen didn't help him out. We coughed up quite a bit of his runs instead of getting him out of jams."

It seems Lincecum has impressed the right people in the organization as general manager Brian Sabean stated that re-signing the four-time all star was a priority. Lincecum's Giants teammates were glad he was retained by the team as many of them took to their social media accounts to show their support for the move. The club is hoping Lincecum will be a key factor next season when San Francisco attempts to improve on this year’s record of 76-86.

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