The Giants PR machine sure knows when to fire off some good news after some controversial Kardashian-Kanye news took center stage less than 24 hours prior.
Tim Lincecum will remain a Giant through at least 2015 after signing a rather unexpectedly lucrative two year deal worth $35MM. The deal also evidently includes a full no-trade clause.
The timing of this announcement was perfect, as it made me mostly forget about the TMZ debate going on all day, and it was a welcome batch of fresh fodder to argue about.
The deal is completely asinine. There's no two ways about it. It's a wad of money that could be put to good use in nearly any application within the parameters of running a baseball team, but instead, that hefty chunk of change is going to line the money that lines the money inside of Big Time Timmy Jim's money bags.
Everyone loves Lincecum, and as Giants fans, we only want the best for the guy. He's done a lot for this team and this city. So with that said...
Jesus I'm glad it's only a two year deal.
The Giants without Lincecum in 2014 were looking at a rotation of Bumgarner, Cain, and pray for rain. Sure re-signing Chad Gaudin and plugging in Yusmeiro Petit might fill two of the holes in the short term, there would still be a glaring hole at #3 in the rotation.
In many ways, Sabean's hands were tied.
People will say, "He's not worth anywhere close to that! What the hell is Sabes thinking?"
And you know what? People are right.
But it's all relative. This team needs starters like vegans need to eat a Porterhouse and slam a DQ Blizzard. It's based on need and other factors, and it's the deal that made sense.
Lincecum was all set to hit free agency, and don't think he wouldn't have. It's the same tactic that the Giants used to lock up Hunter Pence. Pay a little more now, or pay more when pitted against 29 other teams.
The PR hit of losing Lincecum and all the merchandise he still rather inexplicably sells to this day just wasn't worth it to Giants brass-- and I get that.
Also, just remember, it's an asinine contract, but it's 2 years asinine, not 7 years asinine. It'll be over before you know it, and we can all look back on it and confirm that he was probably overpaid by a lot.
Breaking it down by the numbers
Tim Lincecum's 2013 was better than his horrendous 2012, but was it worth $17.5MM per year?
Stat Value ML Rank
ERA 4.37 11th worst
LOB% 69.4% 10th worst
K/9 8.79 19th best
BB/9 3.46 11th worst
WHIP 1.32 24th worst
wFB -13.3 6th worst (Fangraphs stuff. Indicates runs below average for his fastball)
wCH +12.8 5th best (Same concept, but for his changeup.)
Interesting development while looking up Timmy's stats. Although most of his numbers are not good, at least he's never the worst at anything, and also, the likes of CC Sabathia, Ryan Dempster, and Edwin Jackson were often keeping him company.
Wanna talk about an albatross? Sabathia and his Toyota Vallejo-loving ass is due nearly $100MM more over the next 4 years and had a 4.78 ERA last year while giving up 28 HRs.
As far as the Giants' payroll and flexibility going forward, I don't think this changes a whole heck of a lot. And as long as we're discussing it, there are a lot of pre-determined salary increases. Lincecum goes from $22MM to $17MM, with a $1MM increase for next year.
You have Zito's $20MM off the books, but he has a $7MM buyout, so you can substract $13MM. Hunter Pence gets a $2.2MM raise, Pagan gets a $2MM bump, Pablo's salary goes up $2.5MM, Buster's new contract kicks in at a $7.5MM increase, Romo goes up $2MM, Bumgarner goes up $3MM.
That's only a net increase of $1.2MM in salary for all those guaranteed guys. That of course doesn't include any arbitration eligible guys. So yeah, it looks scary, but there's no need to be alarmed.
Truthfully, I'm not sure if this post was meant to comfort you, make you sick, celebrate Timmy's return, or try to justify this gross allotment of funds. In the end I think it's safe to say that we're happy he's back, agree he's being overpaid, but also agree that we're mostly okay with it because he's not as bad as Sabathia or Zito, and if he sucks, we'll get rid of him after the 2015 season.