Tim Lincecum has been a mainstay in the San Francisco Giants rotation for years, but there is a chance that his time in the City by the Bay is coming to a close.
The 29-year-old has been the topic of trade talk among analysts since he is due to become a free agent at the end of this season. It’s always better to get something for a player rather than just see him walk away, but the hard part is going to be figuring out what he is worth.
A two-time Cy Young winner, he is an incredibly talented player, but over the last season his play has slipped to the point that he was not part of the starting rotation during last year’s post season run. The 2013 season has seen him play better, but there has been talk that he could be headed to the bullpen.
Than he goes and throws his first complete game, a no-hitter in his last start before the All-Star break striking out 13 in the process. Coming on the heals of a seven inning no decision where he struck out 11, it certainly gives weight to the argument that the old Lincecum could be back.
That is probably why the team has said that it doesn’t plan on trading him. Giants general manager Brian Sabean had this to say during a local radio appearance: “I expect Timmy to be in a Giant uniform. I find it hard to believe he’ll pitch elsewhere this year. … We need him to get back in this thing.”
While it is an endorsement of sorts it is not a ringing endorsement, leaving open the possibility that the Giants could deal him.
If they don’t it will not get any easier to figure out what to do with Lincecum. Do you pay for a two-time Cy Young winner or the guy that had a 5.18 ERA last season?
No one said it would be an easy decision.