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Giants re-sign Tim Lincecum to two-year, $35 million contract

Oct 22, 2013, 6:32 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Getty Images

The Giants went above and beyond to keep another star on Tuesday, re-signing Tim Lincecum to a two-year, $35 million contract that will result in him forgoing free agency.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Alex Pavlovic was the first to confirm the dollars.

It’s still a paycut for Lincecum, who made $18 million in 2012 and $22 million this year under the terms of a two-year contract that took him through his final arbitration years. Of course, he signed that deal coming off a fourth straight season in which he made the All-Star team, received Cy Young votes and struck out at least 220 batters. He’s done none of those things the last two years.

In fact, Lincecum has been one of the game’s worst starters the last two years.  Of the 88 pitchers to qualify for the ERA title in 2012, Lincecum finished dead last in ERA+, which accounts for pitcher friendly AT&T Park.  In 2013, he finished 77th of the 81 to qualify. His strikeout rate remains quite strong, but with his velocity diminished, he’s giving up more hits and homers than ever before.

Providing some hope for the future is that Lincecum’s peripherals have been better than his ERAs the last two years. Still, unless some velocity comes back, he’s probably not going to be anything close to a $17.5 million-per-year pitcher these next two seasons. Given that the Giants do play in such a pitcher friendly ballpark and that they’ve had success with reclamation projects under Dave Righetti’s watch, it’s hard not to think there would have been much better ways to spend all this money.

  1. tuberippin - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    That’s a lot of money for what is now an unknown commodity. This past season should be a decent indicator of current-period Lincecum: peaks and valleys. One game he can be unhittable, the next game he’s getting knocked around in a short start. I recognize that the market for pitching is changing due to many factors, but I don’t know that a ton of other teams would have given Lincecum upwards of $17mil a season to pitch like a 5th starter.

    • tuberippin - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      I should clarify that by “unknown commodity” I mean that on a start-to-start basis.

  2. ilovegspot - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    The Dodges will sigh Japanese ace Tanaka!

  3. thebadguyswon - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Wow….good news for Lincecum….holy mackerel.

  4. jxegh - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    As a Giant’s fan, I love Lincecum. But not that much……

  5. blabidibla - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Too much money for a guy destined for middle relief. And that’s coming from a Giants fan who loves Timmy. Bad contract!

  6. sabatimus - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    The only thing that makes sense about this contract is the length. The dollar amount is at least $10M too high.

  7. sportsfan18 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Over pay.

    People said he must regret not signing the 5 yr $100 million contract with them yrs ago.

    Well now for the past 2 yrs plus these next 2 yrs, he’ll have earned $18.75 million per yr for 4 yrs on average, which isn’t much off the $20 million per yr he would have been making.

    Yes, he’s still a yr shy but with the way salaries seem to be going up and with how he somehow got this $35 million, who’s to say what he’ll sign for in two more yrs?

    I was one of the many who thought he would regret NOT signing that 5 yr $100 mill dollar deal but he really hasn’t suffered too much…

  8. dhalb34 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Shouldn’t the Giants be focused on getting younger and better at the Starting Rotation? They might as well re-sign Zito while they’re at it.

  9. justrunit11 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    I’m just surprised at the amount of money he got, he isn’t Timmy from 08-11 anymore

  10. vegasgreek - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    re-sign Javier Lopez and trade for LHP David Price from Tampa.

    • raysfan1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      Unless you’re sending us Posey, not interested.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:26 AM

        If the Rays were willing to take on Buster Posey’s contract, they probably wouldn’t need to trade David Price.

      • raysfan1 - Oct 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM

        Yes, wasn’t referring to money, just stating that people who toss out “hey, let’s trade for Price” need to realize that, even if the Rays can be made to listen, the cost will be high. Last year James Shields cost the Royals a MLB-ready bat in Wil Myers and a strong pitching prospect in Jake Odorizzi. The price for Price will be higher if anyone wants him this year. A trade will be more likely next year.

  11. aceshigh11 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Jesus Christ…must be nice to suck at one’s job for two years and get rewarded with $35 million.


    • nbjays - Oct 23, 2013 at 8:28 AM

      Yeah, what does he think he is… a congressman?

  12. gbrim - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Should have been 1yr/5 million with a team option for the next year at 10 million. He is likely years away from his best, barely a fourth/fifth starter now.

  13. sisqsage - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Sabes specializies in The Overpay (Zito, Rowand, Renteria et al). In this case, if they really wanted to keep him they needed to come up with more than the $14 mil QO, and eliminate other bidders before FA starts. Both sides needed each other. The Gents are shaky in the rotation after Bum and Cain, and Lincecum pitched well enough last year to be a No. 3 starter. Timmy, who is still a fan fave, now gets to keep pitching in a pitcher-friendly yard on a two-year deal. If a bidding ward ensued, he’d probably end up with his hometown Mariners. Both sides get to see if the New Timmy will succeed on a short-term contract. It’s not like they are on the hook for 4-5 years, the typical Sabean contract. Worst case scenario is he could be a pretty good reliever down the road with that changeup. He proved that last year in the playoffs. He’s still a heck of a competitor. If anybody can make this work, it’s him.

  14. weaselpuppy - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Max Scherzer says THANK YOU!

    • billybawl - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Free agent pitchers are going to throw a party for Lincecum. Market will explode.

  15. barrancefong - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Exactly how much money did Kanye pay to rent out AT&T?

    • gabeguterres - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      I was wondering the same thing. Hopefully it was enough to pay for a left fielder, too.

  16. MyTeamsAllStink - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    good move for Dodger fans.Magic would have given him a 6 year 100 million deal.

  17. billybawl - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    We tend to think of overpriced contracts in relation to an individual player’s on-field performance relative to other players at the same position. But it’s obviously impacted by the availability of other free agents, and probably to a lesser degree, trade targets. Has anyone tried to quantify this? If the owners/GMs handing out these deals were looking purely at the bottom line, they’d allow contracts to expire and flood the market.

    • sportsfan18 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      But they bid against themselves!

      NO other team would have approached that figure for two yrs for him…

      • bgrillz - Oct 23, 2013 at 8:02 AM

        I beg to differ. He threw a no hitter last season. And had a strong second half. He also racks up a lot of K’s still. So his stuff is still there. Just doesn’t have the heat. He is a 2 time Cy Young winner, and a 2 time world series champ, not a guy who came along for the ride. He should have been MVP of the WS in 2010, and he was invaluable out of the pen in 2012. That is going to command at least 15-20 mill per season. There are teams on the cusp with money to burn with the new tv contracts that would be willing to take that chance.

  18. chill1184 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Even before the World Series concludes the Giants have jacked up the free agent outfield and pitcher market. Certainly going to be an interesting offseason

  19. jya87 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Wow. What’s the over/under on seconds it took for Lincecum to say, “Yes”? Crazy deal.

  20. junglerat524 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:29 PM


  21. jonirocit - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Not my money don’t care . Whatever it takes to win . With that park they can’t get bats so they have to overpay . Love how these writers bury the giants for overpaying but 2 titles in 3 years is pretty good and I’m sure someone else would have payed Tim just as much .

    • cohnjusack - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      Two things

      1. If Lincecum pitches anything like he did the past two years, he is not helping the Giants win one bit. In fact, if he pitches like he did the past two years and was paid nothing, his taking up a roster spot would not help the Giants.

      2. No one would have paid him $17.5 million for 2 years. Nobody.

  22. cohnjusack - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:58 PM


  23. Brinke - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    at least Zito is gone.

  24. herkulease - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    Was Giants management smoking some the weed the Timmy stopped using?

    He has been absolutely horrible. He allowed 203 earned runs the last two season. He allowed 209 earned runs 3 years before that combined.

    They got lucky that he didn’t sign that 5 year/100 mil deal. They finally get out of Zito’s horrible deal. Then proceed to bury themselves.

    If Lincecum performance deserves 17.5 million a year, what does Scherzer deserve? Or Kershaw?

    I know those two have arbitration years coming up.

    I bet the Giants are throwing money away so they can try and claim they need San Jose and the revenue stream to pay for such contracts.

  25. zstark94 - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Reblogged this on STARK'S World Of Sports 🏈🏀⚽️⚾️🎾🎱🎳⛳️ and commented:
    Wise Choice Now Let Him Get Back to The Role As Ace over Matt Cain

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