Tim Lincecum contract extension
The topic of Tim Lincecum and his pending contract is heating up as we approach his arbitration hearing this winter. There have been reports of Lincecum wanting an eight-year deal, some say he wants one to two years. I really do not know who to believe, but the fact that there are talks is comforting for me.
Lincecum is a good pitcher. One could say he is a great pitcher – perhaps one of the best on this generation. He is young (27), has won two Cy Young awards already (2008, 2009), and he has been an All-Star for four straight seasons. He will get paid close to $20 million next season.
Giants fans can all agree they would love to have him around for eight more season in a Giants uniform. He has been compared to pitchers such as Roy Oswalt, Adam Wainwright and Jared Weaver – three high caliber pitchers on winning teams.
Last season, Lincecum made $14 million in his third full year as a starter. In 2008 and 2009 combined – his two Cy Young years – he made $1,055,000 total.
Now he faces the largest paycheck of his life, and he wants eight years. Give the man his money.
I still have lingering effects of the gargantuan Barry Zito seven-year deal we made a few years back, sure. Who doesn’t? All teams not named the Colorado Rockies and Minnisota Twins are terrified of those contracts as they have watched ones like Zito’s go down the toilet. The Giants have every reason to be hesitant for an eight year deal, I understand.
But this isn’t Zito. Lincecum is an explosive, young pitcher, who can still be an ace for at least another ten years. I’m not saying that because I know for sure, who does? I’m saying the risk of locking someone up of that caliber is well worth the reward.
Anyway, that’s my opinion. I feel the Giants should tie up Lincecum for eight years, $160 million easy, if they plan on building a franchise around someone with the nickname “The Franchise,” don’t you?
Boof Bonser signs minor league deal
I am very excited about this move. I believe signing Boof Bonser for the league minimum is the safest deal the Giants have made so far this off season. For those who don’t know, Bonser was drafted in the first round (21st pick) back in 2000, and he never looked back.
Bonser, 30, has been in the Giants organization before, as he and Joe Nathan were traded away in one of the worst deals in Giants history: the A.J. Pierzynski experiment. He has played in 111 major league games in his four seasons with the Twins, Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics.
His big league performances have not been too impressive as he has a career 5.18 ERA with only one year with an ERA+ over 100 (106 his rookie year in 2006). He has put up a much better report in the minors, where he has spent 10 seasons in.
His career minor league ERA is 3.74, with an average strikeout rate of 9.2 per nine innings. Bonser has started in 174 minor league games with a career 66-53 W-L record (Disclaimer: Although wins have nothing to do with how good a pitcher is, I used this stat to show he has the ability to help win games).
I can see this acquisition being the Vogelsong equivalence, or a Pat Burrell type of wager. Hopefully it is less of a Bill Hall experiment or a Jose Guillen gamble. All in all, I’m looking forward to seeing him in Spring training in a Giant uniform once again.
Matt Cain extension more or less a priority
Matt Cain and Lincecum book end what are the building blocks of the Giants organization. Both of them were scouted, drafted and developed by the Giants and were brought up during some of the worst Giant seasons. They stuck through it and became all-stars, holding down the top two spots on the arguably the best starting rotation in the league.
Cain, much like Lincecum, is young (27), talented (two-time all-star) and will cost a lot more if he reaches free-agency. He has quietly developed a reputation of being a really, really good pitcher around the league, and the Giants are flat-out spoiled for having another ace in Cain.
He made $7.3 million last year, and is probably due anywhere between $15-20 million per year if he were to be offered an extension – which he will. Not bad for a pitcher who has averaged a 125 ERA+ in his first seven seasons as a big leaguer. Not bad at all.
In the 203 games he has started, he has averaged a 3.35 ERA and181 strikeouts per season. He has been one of the unluckiest pitchers ever, as he has posted great individual statistics all of his career, but his W-L record (agian, a good example how it is irrelevant for pitchers) is 69-73.
He has quietly been in the shadows of Lincecum all of his career, but he still should be considered a top priority for a contract extension as he approaches his arbitration hearing.
After all, lets not forget his incredible 21.1 straight shutout innings pitched in the playoffs he threw in 2010. The dude is flat-out good, if I were the Giants, I’d lock him up for at least four years.