The San Francisco Giants go into the 2013 Major League Baseball season as the defending World Series champions but have a giant question looming in front of them. What role will Tim Lincecum play for the team? Lincecum was brilliant out of the bullpen during the postseason for San Francisco after having a miserable regular season. I think there is no doubt that Lincecum has to either be in the starting rotation or used as trade bait.
Lincecum has two Cy Young Awards under this belt and can be one of the most dominating pitchers in the whole sport when he is on his game. After two straight seasons with under a .500 record though, it could be possible that the Giants would want to see what they can get for him. When you have a pitcher who has a 23-29 record over the last two years, you can’t expect to pay him over $20 million. That is what Lincecum will be making in 2013 and the team proved that they can win a World Series without him starting so the best plan of attack would be trying to trade him.
Lincecum should be a perfect candidate to be traded at the trade deadline even if the Giants are in the pennant race. If Lincecum is suffering through a third straight bad season, San Francisco has to cut their losses and go in a different direction. There could be a decent return for Lincecum out there if a pitching coach thinks he can get Lincecum on track. I expect the Giants to keep Lincecum around until at least that point and may consider not re-signing him after the year.