Tim Lincecum was given a two-year whopping $35 million contract extension by the San Francisco Giants. This is not a good move for the present and future of the ball club.
Lincecum is coming off of two straight down years with his ERA in the five and mid four range in 2012 and 2013, and his strikeouts are also down in recent years. With his type of pitching style and delivery he also seems destined for the bullpen in the future. $17.5 million a year for a relief pitcher is not a good financial move for a Giants team trying to get back in contention.
Then there is the matter of Lincecum’s long term health. The wear and tear he puts on his body is immense. He has a herky jerky delivery and is one of the tiniest pitchers in the game in terms of stature and weight at 5-foot-10 170-pounds. I am not sure how many healthy years Lincecum has left given his pitching style and frame.
The Giants have the young pitching where it isn’t necessary to keep Lincecum in the starting rotation, especially with his ineffectiveness of late. Matt Cain is their obvious ace and Madison Bumgarner is coming on as a young ace. The Giants are also pretty loaded in their farm system with young arms like Kyle Crick, Chris Stratton, and Clayton Blackburn that when ready will be in the rotation for years to come.
I believe this was a foolish move by Giants GM Brian Sabean. While the amount of years doesn’t totally handicap the team the money over the next two years really hurts their ability to go out and get other free agents to fill other needs.
Maybe Lincecum surprises us all and gets back to his former glory, but I have my doubts. This is a move that could come back to haunt the Giants.