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  1. The important caveat here is that Nick Cafardo is an idiot who wouldn’t contribute a thing to sports reporting if he didn’t have Lucchino in his ear.

    Comment by Jonathan — October 23, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  2. How low is his value? What kind of return would the Giant expect? How about Lincecum and a couple million for Denard Span? Giants get an upgrade in CF and the Twins get their front-line starter. Lincecum has time to figure out his issues with the no-pressure, last place Twins.

    Comment by Chuck — October 23, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  3. Dan Uggla doe Tim Lincecum. Done.

    Comment by Timmay — October 23, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

  4. Timmy’s value is down. Doesn’t make sense from that angle.

    From the Giants payroll, they are free from Zito and Timmy at the same time after 2013 (42MM plus the 7MM buyout). The crunch will be a one year crunch, mitigated by the fact… the Giants are going to the World Series. Riding 6 playoff games with at least 2 more in the pipe. Doesn’t make a ton of sense from that angle.

    From the marketing angle, it makes zero sense. Timmy is a Giant. The Rainy Day Fund crew know their marketing, and will be extremely reluctant to deal a hometown favorite. Now even with the terrible year, Timmy warming up in the pen in game 1 with the Gints down the crowd went crazy.

    Mainly though, Sabean is a stubborn guy. Timmy is his guy. Saved his job. Sabean will be extremely reluctant to give up on Timmy. Like the quote says, “It’ll be interesting to see how he turns it around”.

    Only way I see him dealt is if the Giants crater in July 2013. But I doubt even then it’ll happen.

    Comment by Shankbone — October 23, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  5. Dear Wendy,

    You forgot to mention that Timmy rejected a long term deal with the Giants, so…I dont think he wants any part of the Giants beyond 2013.

    Also, Timmy’s slump, could be caused by the fact that he doesnt want to be in SF anymore. Sorry but Timmy looks kind of fed up with the Giants, and that reflects on his pitching, his lack of motivation, his conflicts with Buster Posey and so on.

    So no, I dont think he is “thrilled” to come back next season with a new mentality, with a new pitching mindset, only to please Brian Sabean. Uh.

    So maybe there is a new theory: Lincecum is pushing for a trade, even if that means taking less salary.

    Since I’m no Giants fan, I could care less what unknown prospect you guys get in return.

    But as a baseball fan, I’m wishing Timmy gets his change of scenary that can ignite his motivation and his recovery.

    Because, damn, I miss him.

    Comment by Sonia H — October 23, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  6. This. We’re talking a guy who was a beast a few years ago and has not hit thirty yet.

    Personally, I think it’s his mechanics catching up to him, but he’s gotten to the point this season where a qualifying offer next year is a question mark. Teams aren’t likely to give up more now with the chance he could continue to underperform compared to mid-season if he bounces back.

    The Giants have little motivation to move him other than to save money.

    Comment by Jonathan — October 23, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

  7. He doesn’t need a change of scenery so much as a strike zone dowser.

    Comment by channelclemente — October 23, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  8. “You forgot to mention that Timmy rejected a long term deal with the Giants, so…I dont think he wants any part of the Giants beyond 2013.”

    It was widely known when it happened that the reason for this was because he wanted to hit free agency.

    Had he not imploded this year, he’d be a year away from hitting the market as a 29 year old with a career ERA and FIP under 3.

    The idea that he may have intentionally tanked this close to free agency to get a change of scenery is completely ludicrous. He was looking at a record contract for a pitcher next offseason, now he may be lucky to get more than a pillow contract if he doesn’t look like 2008 Lincecum next year. Nobody could be that short-sighted. This year could’ve cost him close to $100MM in future salary.

    Comment by Jonathan — October 23, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

  9. Most guys need a couple of feet on their fastball. Timmy likely needs just a couple of centimeters on his hamstrings..

    Comment by fergie348 — October 23, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  10. Who would the Dodgers give up?

    Sorry, I just assumed all players must be traded to the Dodgers.

    Comment by Steve — October 23, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  11. It was widely known when it happened that the reason for this was because he wanted to hit free agency.

    Translation > he wants no part of the Giants

    And Timmy is not about money, otherwise, he would have already signed that long term deal.

    I’m not saying his implosion was intentional, but there is something bugging him in SF, that doesnt help him at all.

    It’s clear he wants out. I mean look at his face, he looks like he is sucking a lemon all the time.

    Also, he made a mistake with the weight loss thing. He is too skinny, too skinny. He needs to bulk up a little.

    He needs a change of scenary, only to clear his mind.

    Comment by Sonia H — October 23, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

  12. Sonia, if you make claims, please use evidence to support them.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — October 23, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

  13. “If a team were willing to take on all or most of the twenty-plus million owed to Lincecum in 2013, perhaps a deal is done for a top-tier prospect who is still a few years from the majors.”

    Wendy, I know you’re a die-hard Giants fan but that seems far-fetched to me. If a team was willing to take on that salary AND give up a top-tier lower-minors prospect, they should jump on that deal. I can’t see how any team would come close to that though, considering how bad he was this year. That’s way too much of a gamble for someone who can be awful next year.

    Comment by vivalajeter — October 23, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  14. a) Given your understandable glee – just based on Twitter alone – I don’t know how you’re managing to type complete sentences at the moment. Congrats to your Giants.

    b) Realistically: salary relief and a top-tier outfielder prospect? Maybe a team with a history of being crazypants spenders, like the Marlins or Dodgers… or a team with the roster depth, mostly fully functioning ML talent and the money and roster space to experiment, like the Rangers… or a team with nothing to lose plus the money and roster space, like the Cubs or Red Sox.

    I don’t see anyone else doing much unless the Giants are kicking in a lot to help with salary. If the Giants can help with salary then maybe the M’s or A’s could offer up something.

    Or ooh! I know! I know! Bad contract swap! Vernon Wells for Timmay! :)

    Comment by Chris from Bothell — October 23, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

  15. Elaborate please.

    TL was offered a long term deal with the Giants, he rejected the offer.

    BTW, everybody is happy now that he rejected the deal, after he had the worst season of his career

    It was not a good idea for Timmy to come out and say that he didnt want to be a Giant, so he said the he didnt like long term deals.

    The conflict with Posey is REAL and Posey is the first catcher. So that is something that bugs him and affects the game, for sure.

    Comment by Sonia H — October 23, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

  16. Have you been watching the Giants playoff games? It’s hard to buy into your theory as I watch Timmy hang on the dugout rail, go absolutely bonkers when the Giants score or make great stops, and sprint out of the dugout after wins. Did you see him last night? He was practically dancing in the infield after the last out. Now he may end up leaving for one reason or another but this doesn’t look like a guy that “wants out.”

    Comment by harperhill — October 23, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  17. Agreed on all points.

    Comment by Sonia H — October 23, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

  18. Timmy isn’t going anywhere. He’s going to play out his contract with the Giants and then hit the FA market. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him return to San Francisco.

    This is pure speculation but I’ve heard that the reason Lincecum didn’t want a long term deal is because he saw the effect that it had on Barry Zito’s career. It was said earlier but he doesn’t really care about the money.

    Comment by nolan — October 23, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

  19. Well, obviously he cares about getting paid, but it’s not the #1 priority.

    Comment by nolan — October 23, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

  20. Juan Uribe.

    Comment by Ray Guilfoyle — October 23, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

  21. I hope Timmy will stay with Giants after 2013, I just can’t imagine him wearing another uniform. I can’t wait for him to be the “Tim Lincecum ” that we knew, ” the Freak”. He’ll be back soon.

    Comment by Abby — October 23, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

  22. I noticed during the Giants celebration that Tim has a smoking hot girlfriend. Maybe love has distracted him this year?

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — October 23, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

  23. Someone needs to tell him to clean up his room…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/07/tim-lincecum-sued-for-trashing-apartment_n_999290.html

    Comment by Kchubb — October 23, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

  24. Huh? How do you know that he has a conflict with Posey? Do you regularly have conversations with both of them where they both reveal their true feelings about their batterymate? It sounds like you’re going off of random media speculation. Bochy said that Lincecum is hard on catchers, physically, and he was trying to save his MVP catcher as much as possible. Maybe you don’t buy that, but it makes more sense than a pitcher and a catcher hating each other so much that they don’t want to play together. I’m sure there have been plenty of pitchers and catchers who have hated each other, but sucked it up and played because it’s their job.

    Comment by Scott — October 23, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

  25. Sf would be crazy to even consider trading Timmy. He want’s to be a Giant always and the fans love him

    Comment by Vince Z — October 23, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  26. Maybe Zito for Vernon Wells, but not Timmy. Even that is a stretch, given that Wells is still owed about $50m, and Zito $27m, and neither will be worth more than about 1.0 WAR next season.

    Maybe Wells and Trumbo for Zito, or Wells and Trout for Timmy.

    Or perhaps Wells, Pujols and Trout for Zito. Then the Angels can trade two of their big mistakes and one huge asset for the Giants big mistake.

    Comment by Kazinski — October 23, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

  27. How can you trade Lincecum in 2013? You still need 5 starters. You are going to trade him for a worse starter? He clearly has very little trade value, because he comes with a $20M price tag and is a free agent at the end of the year.

    Ironically, this is just Zito redux. 2012 Lincecum isn’t bad – he’s just overpaid. Just ball parking it by FG value minus salary, his 2012 was worth negative $13M or there abouts. Zito was about the same.

    Now if imagine a 2013 Lincecum scouting report / zips you probably see him gaining a big chunk of that back – but no WAY do you offer him more than $12-13M for a 1 year contract. So anyone who “takes” him immediately eats $7-8M. You cannot get value for negative value. All you can get is salary relief and a 40-man spot.

    But even looking at the 2013 Giants and saying… OK we have 3 solid starters just need a back end to hold down the fort – 4th and 5th men in the rotation aren’t free… and they don’t have much in the minors (Yusmerio Petit? Chris Heston?).

    The only way this happens if the team flops early and Lincecum is awesome.

    Comment by zenbitz — October 23, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

  28. Timmy’s not going anywhere next year. After next season the giants will make him a qualifying offer and move on when he signs with Seattle.

    Comment by WillieMaysField — October 23, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

  29. Why in the world would the A’s trade for a starting pitcher? They already have more guys than spots for next season, even when you ignore struggling guys like Tyson Ross and Dallas Braden (who’ll be nontendered, but I expect him to be resigned for a few million unless his arm is truly toast) and speculative prospects like Sonny Gray and Brad Peacock.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — October 23, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

  30. Where do people come up with this idea that Zito is in Vernon Wells territory? He’s a league average pitcher when not hurt (which he rarely is).* That has significant value. Vernon Wells not only isn’t a league average outfielder, he’s not even close, and he’s owed vastly more money.

    *Yes, I know what FIP says. When it comes to Barry Zito, FIP is wrong.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — October 23, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

  31. Yeah. Why would he want any part of a team that only makes it to the World Series two times in three years?

    Comment by MikeS — October 23, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

  32. 2012 Lincecum isn’t bad? Really???

    I went to the leaderboard, sorted by NL era, and guess what? Lincecum had the worst era in the national league, and was more than half a run worse than anyone else. He also led the league in walks. Yeah, his K-rate was good and his xFIP was better than his era, but come on now. When you give up half a run more than the 2nd worst pitcher in the league and you have no control all year long, you’re bad. If he wasn’t elite in the past, he would’ve been dropped from the rotation months before the season ended.

    Comment by vivalajeter — October 23, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

  33. My impression from this article was that Tim Lincecum’s declining value and excess price necessitates a trade, rather than the Giants having a need that justifies trading Tim Lincecum. After what Brian Sabean demonstrated this offseason, he has the ability to fill roster holes with competent players, but he can’t be expected to find Ryan Vogelsongs and Travis Blackleys on a consistent basis. Those pitchers are far, far rarer.

    The Giants are competitive now, they don’t need to trade for a prospect who will take years to develop and might end up a bust. They just traded away a top pitching prospect who was certainly going to have a major league career. Without Barry Zito, the team will have a lot of money and rather a potentially crowded infield between Posey, Belt and Sandoval dictates who stays in San Francisco.

    It’s in the Giants best interest to hope for a rebound from Lincecum, because like the Yankees have found out, free agency often leads to an overpay in talent and years that could handcuff a team at critical times. Even if the Giants end up getting nothing from Lincecum, the potential payoff from a rebound far exceeds and modest/uncertain gains they could get through a salary dump/prospect trade, especially since come 2014, money won’t be an object anymore.

    Comment by Petruchio — October 23, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

  34. I don’t know why you included Weezy’s arb eligibility in your payroll. He’s a definite non-tender.

    Comment by Wat — October 24, 2012 @ 12:33 am

  35. And the Twins can coach him to pitch to contact instead of getting strikeouts. Hooray. /sarcasm

    Comment by jrogers — October 24, 2012 @ 2:15 am

  36. When a pitcher loses both velocity and control that spells shoulder damage. As that happens pitchers subtly alter their mechanics to hump the ball up there in a search for the same result. Then people blame the mechanics. There’s more than a few soft tossers in the Hall. Some even started as flamethrowers. It’s hard to make the transition though (and TL has the talent for it) because everyone likes the high hard on, including chicks.

    Comment by james wilson — October 24, 2012 @ 3:16 am

  37. @Kazinski

    Are you nuts? I know Wells has a bad deal but why would the Angels include Trout who is coming off an MVP type season in his rookie year in a deal for a possibly washed up pitcher who would only be under team control for one more year? Even if Trout has a sophmore slump that makes less than no sense.

    Comment by Robert — October 24, 2012 @ 3:52 am

  38. I have to say, I had no idea Zito’s contract was expiring after next year. It seemed like he was going to be a Giant forever.

    Comment by Ian R. — October 24, 2012 @ 8:53 am

  39. I think the question should start with ‘if Lincecum was on waivers, would you claim him?’. Once you conclude that no one would willingly pay him $22M next year, then you know you cannot get anything back but salary relief. Since no one will want him, you probably cannot get fair value. You really need someone that really wants him to get a fair deal.

    Given the publicity and everything, the SFG should probably just gamble on him. There is always the upside of him recovering enough to be worth a $14M qualifying offer after next year.

    Comment by Joebrady — October 24, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  40. even if you dillute the problem of 2012 by averaging his last 3 seasons… you are talking about a guy making over $20,000,000 in 2013 who has averaged less than 2 wins above replacement over the last 3 seasons.

    how much value doe that contract have? I’d say almost none. Lincecum for 2 baseballs. Would they find takers? Probably. The risk is fixed. But I can’t imagine there are many teams interested in trading a potential future starter making small coin for that contract.

    Comment by Doug B — October 24, 2012 @ 10:52 am

  41. Not trying to sound silly, but I wonder whether the Red Sox would swap Ellsbury straight up for LIncecum. I mean basically, neither team is fixing the long term problem of a Boras negotiation for a player with a lot of question marks, but both would certainly be trading a need for a need. The Red Sox would likely be able to take on Timmy’s salary to boot.

    Comment by Yolo1 — October 24, 2012 @ 11:42 am

  42. This always bugs me. I don’t care what his peripherals say if we’re talking about current year performance. If his BABIP and home run ratios “should” stabilize, then what you mean to say is that he “shouldn’t” be as bad in the future.

    And if you want to say he was “unlucky” this year, that’s just a partial explanation of WHY he was terrible this year, it doesn’t erase the fact that he was terrible in the first place.

    Comment by Scott — October 24, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  43. Yes, the article is mute, IMO, because there is no market for Lincecum and his $22 million contract. The baseball world will wait on his 2013 season and see what happens. Nick Cafardo got us all to waste time on this subject.

    Comment by San Francisco Slim — October 24, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  44. Scrolled down to post exactly this.

    Comment by THD — October 24, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  45. Ellsbury + Prospect for Lincecum + Belt ?

    Comment by yeahhh — October 24, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

  46. “I wonder whether the Red Sox would swap Ellsbury straight up for LIncecum.”

    A: No.

    Now if the Giants were willing to send over $10,000,000 I think maybe the Giants have a chance there.

    Comment by Doug B — October 24, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  47. The word you want is “moot.”

    Comment by joser — October 24, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  48. @Scott: “Bochy said that Lincecum is hard on catchers, physically, and he was trying to save his MVP catcher as much as possible.”
    I am a reasonable human, ergo I cannot believe this comment to be anything other than complete BS. It’s the playoffs now, and having Posey catch is optimal for your lineup (offensively and defensively). There’s a reason Posey doesn’t catch Lincecum, and it has nothing to do w/that complete BS statement from Bochy obviously.

    Comment by Rick — October 24, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

  49. Look at it like this:

    If the Tigers made Verlander available, what would offers for him look like? I’m thinking it takes multiple farm systems – if the Yankees, for example, were to try and get him, they’d have to trade all of their top 15 prospects and take on his whole contract.

    That was about Timmy’s value prior to 2012. Obviously things have gone down a bit. And maybe he doesn’t turn it around and you waste your money and prospect.

    But no one who’s been as good as Tim for as long as Tim obliterates their trade value in one year. He’s owed a lot of money, but you only have to commit for a year, his extension price has dropped in accordance with his performance price. An acquiring team would basically be paying cash – a fungible asset – and one major prospect for the chance to try out Tim Lincecum for a year when his value is probably lower than it will be for the next 8-10 years. If I’m the Red Sox or the Yankees or the Mets or the Tigers or the Angels or the Dodgers or any team with cash and non-spectacular pitching, I’m all over Tim Lincecum if all he costs me is one prospect and money. Plenty of big prospects don’t pan out, and they’re generally riskier than two-time Cy Young winners. If that’s the premium for renting Tim Lincecum there will be a long line of buyers.

    Comment by quincy0191 — October 24, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

  50. I always thought that Lincecum’s struggles started from the fact he lost weight before Training Camp: Dude was already stick thin and he lost 30 pounds, with the pitching coach saying he showed up too small. Then he starts sucking as soon as Spring Training starts. Combined with a heavy workload and his body probably broke down some.

    I think he’ll be fine if he gets his weight back up and that he should be kept. Not a big enough return for him ATM.

    Comment by Ruki Motomiya — October 24, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

  51. I don’t know… the article makes no noise that I can hear.

    Comment by Doug B — October 25, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  52. “Wells and Trout for Timmy”

    ?!?!?!?! Most nonsensical trade proposal by anyone EVER.

    Of the week.

    Comment by Jason B — October 25, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  53. His value was not as high before the 2012 season as you say it was–not even close in fact.
    At that point, his prior 2 seasons, though still excellent, were way down from the 2 seasons before that, probably due to his steadily declining fastball speed.
    There was also a general consensus among baseball people that his unusual delivery would wear him down, perhaps already had.
    The generally accepted rumour was that the Giants had offered Lincecum a 5/$100M extension starting in 2013 which he declined. Apparently, he preferred to gamble on getting a blockbuster deal after 2013.
    After that, the Giants correctly turned their focus to Cain.
    If the 5/$100 rumour was true, I argued at the time, Lincecum was a fool not to take it. The odds that he would either decline further or get injured in 2012-2013 were far too great to turn down far more money than he could ever reasonably spend.
    Alas for him, he clearly made the wrong decision.
    He would have to revert to the level of his Cy Young years in 2013 to get an offer like that now.
    If I were the God Emperor of the Giants, I would at least shop him in the offseason to see if there’s any interest.
    If not, I would concentrate on trying to get him back to what he was doing before he started his slide instead of again tinkering with his delivery as they have for the last 2 years, let alone trying to change him into an entirely different pitcher.

    Comment by Baltar — October 25, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  54. Doug B took the words right out of my mouth.

    Comment by Baltar — October 25, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  55. quincy, as Baltar says, his value was nowhere near Verlander’s. Verlander won the MVP last year, he could win the Cy Young this year, and he’s regarded as the best pitcher in the game. He’s a workhorse who continues to pitch like an elite pitcher. He’s not showing any signs of slowing down, whereas Lincecum showed plenty of signs before this year. If he put up the worst ERA in the NL right after winning his Cy Young awards, then maybe it would be considered a complete fluke. But the warning signs were already there for Lincecum, and I don’t think any team expects him to pitch like a Cy Young winner next year.

    And if a team is looking for an ace, why spend $20MM and a top prospect on him, when someone like RA Dickey is available? I’m sure Dickey would take 2 top prospects instead of 1, but he’s also $15MM cheaper next year.

    Comment by vivalajeter — October 25, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

  56. disagree. i think he’s had tough negotiations in the past with SF and his father was pi$$ed off at Sabean a few years ago over this iirc. When they say “its not about the money” its usually about the money.

    Comment by joe — October 30, 2012 @ 1:44 am

  57. another Giant trashing their apartment. uribe did this a few years ago too.

    Comment by joe — October 30, 2012 @ 1:46 am

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