Buster Posey is back and healthy! Melky Cabrera has arrived in camp looking like the same hitting force he was last year! Barry Zito pitched three scoreless spring training innings today, which translates to about seven scoreless innings in the regular season, which, for Barry Zito, translates to a perfect game with 27 strikeouts.
Yup, all is well in Giants land.
And then, this, from Jon Heyman at CBSSports.com:
–Tim Lincecum doesn’t look like he’s going to be a quick sign. The Giants offered Lincecum at least $100 million over five years a couple months back, but word is, they are at least $75 million apart, with Lincecum looking for a deal of seven or eight years;
I’m starting to get the feeling that keeping both Lincecum and Matt Cain isn’t as realistic as I had originally thought. In fact, originally I thought it was a sure thing. Lincecum and Cain. They’re Giants. Forever and ever. Duh.
The thought of one of them leaving wasn’t ever real. Extending they’re contracts was always just a matter of picking a day and time when everyone could get together and sign some paperwork and drink tea and smile about how being a Giant for your entire career is the greatest thing ever.
But the past few months have shown that is not so. And, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we should have seen this coming.
When Lincecum signed his two year, $23 million extension a couple years ago I remember thinking, “Two years? He’ll only be 27 at the end of that contract.”
Now, I’ll admit that the people in the Giants organization (not Sabean or Bochy, though) might know a little more about this stuff than I do (which is none). The Giants were wary to lock up Lincecum long-term, mainly because he’s a pitcher. Pitchers break down all the time. Some at 35, some at 27. Given Lincecum’s delivery the Giants were being reasonably cautious.
But it’s not my millions being paid to Lincecum, so I don’t have to be reasonable.
I think you have to throw all your eggs in Tim’s hair-lined basket. Or at least they should have then. Now it’s a much, MUCH, more expensive proposition.
Signing a 25-year-old pitcher to a seven- or eight-year deal is a lot more appealing than giving the same contract to a pitcher who’s about to turn 28. Do you know the last pitcher to whom the Giants gave a seven-year deal to? Yea.
Clearly these are two different scenarios involving two very different pitchers. But I’m just saying.
No one thinks Lincecum will fall off a cliff like Zito did. But, to be fair, no one thought Zito would fall off that cliff either. That’s the thing about pitchers, it just happens.
Point is, this should be a non-issue right now. The Giants could have saved themselves a lot of money and I could have saved mself a lot of stress had this gotten done in 2010.
It’s still hard to imagine either Cain or Lincecum in another uniform, but there may be a time where it becomes inevitable. I’m not conceding anything yet, but when I read stuff about Lincecum or Cain slowly inching away my defenses start to go up.
Cain and Bumgarner aren’t a bad one-two.
With the extra money the Giants could go after a big name hitter, like next offseason’s Aubrey Huff.
Watching every Lincecum start because it might be the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen is really time-consuming.
I’m starting to feel sick…
Lincecum, while always being called a perfect fit for San Francisco (he has long hair, it’s perfect!) may not be as married to the city as it is to him. Cain has always reportedly loved The City, though his recent real estate move has caused quite a stir.
Baseball is a business and we’ve seen loyalties during contract negotiations corrode faster than Freddy Sanchez’s shoulders. It all comes down to money. Blah blah blah we all know this. So maybe everyone’s just playing hard to get and once the millions are negotiated everything will calm down.
But until then I’ll be known around town as the weird lanky guy with bloody nubs where his fingernails should be.
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