As we know, baseball players tend to get paid for what they have done in the past, not necessarily what they’re expected to do in the future. Although Tim Lincecum has not been the player that San Francisco Giants fans were accustomed to watching from 2007-10, he still owns two World Series rings, two Cy Young awards and he is a four-time All Star. Not too shabby for a guy reaching free agency for the first time.
Since 2008, Lincecum has started at least 32 games in each season. Lincecum had his struggles in 2011 and 2012, yet he still averaged 205 strikeouts over those two seasons. In 2013, Lincecum finished in the top 10 in strikeouts with 193. Something that really caught my attention was the fact that there were only three occasions in 2013 that Lincecum did not pitch past the fifth inning. The four-time All Star has showed durability throughout his career, having never been on the disabled list
Lincecum, known to many as “The Franchise”, will most likely be rewarded a contract in the range of $60-90 million over a three to five-year span. Lincecum has made more than 20 million annually over the past two seasons. There has been speculation that Lincecum will opt to pitch in his hometown of Seattle, but as a first time free agent, he will not be had for a hometown discount as a first time free agent. If Lincecum is looking to join a team that will give him more win opportunities, he may not get more run support with the Seattle Mariners than he did with San Francisco. The Giants and Mariners scored 629 and 624 runs, respectively, during the 2013 regular season.
Lincecum accomplished more in his first seven years in a Giants uniform than any other Giant has to start their career. In 2008, Lincecum became the first Giant recipient of the Cy Young award since Mike McCormick won the award in 1967. He went on to win another Cy Young the following season. He helped the Giants win the World Series in 2010 and 2012. Not to mention, he helped void the gap as the face of the organization upon Barry Bonds departure following the 2007 season.
The Giants no longer have to pay for Barry Zito’s yoga lessons, so why not use that money to make sure “The Franchise” stays in San Francisco for the next few years. Who knows what he can do next? Nobody could have assumed the accomplishments Lincecum would achieve in his first seven years in the big leagues, and I don’t think he is done yet. He might not be the flamethrower he once was, but he has learned to adjust, unlike the guys facing him in the batter’s box. He is still a strikeout pitcher, and the fans in San Francisco love this guy.
The Giants know that in order to be contenders, they will need to continue their dominance of having a strong starting rotation. Lincecum may not be their ace anymore, but he very well could be the best No. 3 pitcher in baseball. The Giants already moved quickly to improve their offense by locking up Hunter Pence to a five-year contract. Lincecum is next. Oh, and maybe another bat
Ashton Silverman is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @ashtonsilverman