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I'm sure by now, most every Giant fan on the planet has heard that Tim Lincecum and the Giants just barely avoided an arbitration hearing Friday, and agreed to a 2-year pact that will pay the 2-time Cy Young Award winning right-hander $23 million over the next 2 seasons.
Tim Lincecum is quite possibly the best pitcher in baseball right now, and there are guys that are earning nearly double of what he's going to make in 2010 ($8 million). I'm extremely surprised he went the route he did, but what this shows me is that he's  serious about being a Giant and wants to try and make things work. I don't think there is any doubt in my mind that Lincecum would have won his 13 million in an arbitration case, and probably could have kept taking the Giants to arbitration each year over the next 3 offseasons and breaking the bank each time. However, his new deal will pay him the Giants' proposed offer of $8 million in '10, then Lincecum's proposed offer of $13 million in 2011 added onto a $2 million signing bonus that he'll be receiving. Amazingly, he's still getting paid less than what Ben Sheets (who missed all of the '09 season with injury and doesn't have near the credentials of Timmy) is getitng paid by Oakland. So, obviously, if it were all about money with Timmy, or if there was any thought that he was offended by the Giants low-ball offer, he showed by singing the deal that he's more focused on being a Giant than squeezing an extra couple of million out of them. I was the slightest bit curious as to what would have happened had they actually gone to arbitration, but I think the best case scenario, especially for the Giants, was to avoid it, so kudos to Brian Sabean and co. for getting this thing out of the way.
The Giants also agreed to terms with another starting pitcher this week, inking former Cardinal's right-hander Todd Wellemeyer to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. The 31 year-old is coming off a rough '09 campaign, as he went just 7-10 with a  5.89 era and sported a ridiculously high 1.77 WHIP. He spent most of the season in the Card's rotation, but was moved to the pen later in the year only to get the same results. However, in '07 and '08, he really wasn't all that bad for St. Louis. In 2007 after coming over from Kansas City, he threw in 20 games for the Cards, including 11 starts, and sported a 3.11 era and a respectable 1.22 WHIP. In 2008, he spent the full year in the Cardinals rotation and flourished, going 13-9 with a 3.71 era, striking out 134 batters in 191 innings, and sporting a 1.25 WHIP. His 2008 season actually was very similar, equal or better in all categories but the strikeout totals actually, as to what Matt Cain did in that very season. The fact that threw that well in '08 is what got him his chance with the Giants, and if he reverts to that form, he's going to force Madison Bumgarner back to the minors or at the very least make the roster as a long-reliever. With a great spring, he makes the rotation, with a solid spring, he makes the bullpen, if he's nothing special or has a sub-par of a spring, they toss him down in Fresno and have insurance if Bumgarner stumbles a bit, or if one of the other starters go down at any point in the year. Another deal that really has the chance to pay off big time, without having to commit much of anything, so for this reason, I like the move.
Final Offseason Review Post Coming Next....
SPRING TRAINING COUNTDOWN- PITCHERS & CATCHERS REPORT: 4 days
- Trevor Cole The Giants Baseball Blog