San Francisco Giants re-sign Lincecum

The San Francisco Giants have reportedly re-inked starting pitcher Tim Lincecum to a two-year, $35 million pact.

While the length of the deal is short, I’d still rather not take on that much salary for such risk. While Lincecum continued to miss bats this year, there were enough red flags to keep me from wanting the Seattle Mariners to take a stab. Perhaps, as more details come out, it will turn out that the $35 million figure includes incentives. Maybe the final year is a vesting option or something.

I still find it hard to see the M’s throwing that much cash at a maybe-he-is, maybe-he-isn’t broken pitcher, regardless of the hometown ties. I just can’t envision Tiny Tim bouncing back to post the needed value (roughly 3.4 fWAR per season) to make that contract break even. There’s little to no chance it becomes a bargain.

I do still believe the club should add at least one or two veteran starters to their staff for 2014, though, so it’ll be interesting to see which direction they go. You can pencil in rookies James Paxton and Tajiuan Walker for spring auditions, but you certainly can’t use regular-season-colored ink yet. Besides, one or both — much more likely Paxton — could end up as trade bait this off-season.

Behind Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, there are far too many question marks to count on the kids. Some stability in the middle of the rotation is needed. That’s why I never thought Lincecum was a great fit to begin with. As a number five, on the cheap? Sure, take a chance. As someone you need to count on for $17.5 million per? Absolutely pass.

The list of available starting pitching on the open market is pretty thin, and just got thinner. So the M’s may opt to go the trade route, or get in on the posting for Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Though, the latter may come at a rather lofty sum and —¬†after the passing of majority owner Hiroshi Yamauchi — might not be pushed in the way that previous Japanese stars were.

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Jason A. Churchill

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