Tim Lincecum Prefers Short-Term Deals

They call Tim Lincecum the Freak for his unusual delivery, but the nickname may also apply when it comes to contract talks. While most players are eager to sign their first long-term deal, the Giants’ two-time Cy Young winner told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he feels most comfortable on one or two-year contracts.

"It's just easier for me mentally not to have to put that kind of pressure on yourself," he said. "Not that you don't want to succeed, but when you're signed to a long-term deal, it's like saying, 'I'm going to live up to every expectation.' That's why I like going year to year, so I can improve on it and not sit on what I've done."

Lincecum still has two years of arbitration eligibility after this season and he says he’d be open to a two-year deal similar to the one that bought out his first two seasons of arbitration eligibility. He says he likes the two-year, $23MM contract he signed before the 2010 season, since it allowed him to move gradually through the arbitration process. But if the Giants make an aggressive long-term offer, the Beverly Hills Sports Council client will listen.

"It all depends on how they come after me," he told Schulman. "If it's aggressive, obviously I want to take that into consideration and talk about it with my agent and see what he thinks is good. I haven't dismissed anything."

Lincecum says he isn’t sure how he’ll feel in three or five years and added that he isn’t worried about the Giants’ offense, which currently ranks last in the National League in runs scored.

When MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes previewed Lincecum’s arbitration case in May, the agents he surveyed suggested a 2012 salary in the $19-22MM range would be fair assuming a “normal season.” The 27-year-old right-hander has a 2.59 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 212 innings and though he won’t win the Cy Young Award he has set himself up for $20MM-plus in 2012 and even more in 2013. In other words, Lincecum gets as much guaranteed money going year to year as many pitchers obtain on multiyear deals in free agency.


64 Responses to Tim Lincecum Prefers Short-Term Deals Leave a Reply

  1. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    Considering his body type and the fact he’s allegedly an eventual injury concern, I would be looking for that big deal if I were Lincecum.

    • Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

      Injury’s a concern in every signing of a pitcher. Signing a short term has three unique advantages for Lincecum,
      1. Guarantees he will hit free agency at a relitively young age (31-32?) allowing him to sign a big dollar-long term deal. (think CC if he opts out)
      2. He could avoid being stuck in a loseing sutuation, if he signs for three and the teams outlook begins to look bleek after 2 he could avoid rebuilding years and maximize his chances to win without being traded. (think Oswalt before getting traded to Philly).
      3. He could avoid the negitive perseption and fan backlash that would come with a Major Injury/Opt out/Ineffectiveness situation. (Think of Zito/Lackey/Hampton hybrid with a little CC(if he does opt out and leaves New York)).

    • Joe Valenti 4 years ago

      I’m not sure how true this statement is but my buddy went to high school with Lincecum. He told me that Lincecum’s father is an engineer. Before Lincecum was born his father and all of his engineer buddies worked to develop the perfect pitching motion as to put the least amount of stress on the arm. Long story short, if any of this is true, his pitching motion should actually make him less injury prone then any other pitcher considering how he uses forward momentum and thrust (although I do understand that every pitcher eventually becomes an injury concern).

  2. Just another reason to dig Lincecum, great player.

  3. Tacho Bill 4 years ago

    If you’re in his position, and you’ve made more money already than you could ever spend, why put the type of pressure on yourself that comes with a multi-year mega-contract?

    The dude is set for life. He doesn’t need to do that to himself.

  4. Greg Munster 4 years ago

    No… the demand for quality pitchers like himself keeps rising, as will his salary. If he keeps up his performance, he’ll make more this way.

    It is admirable though…

  5. vtadave 4 years ago

    I love Timmy, but I disagree.

    – B. Zito

  6. Ethanator99 4 years ago

    I hate baseball economics. $20 million is a ton of money for working 6 months out of the year.

    • not_brooks 4 years ago

      $20MM is an insane amount of money for working an entire lifetime.

      If you worked from age 20 to age 65 and made $20MM, your average salary would have been about $450K.

      • Tells you a lot about what is really valued in our society, huh?

        And we wonder why our educational system goes right down the drain.

      • Namio 4 years ago

        That is just mind blowing… 

  7. gornie 4 years ago

    you don’t think timmy’s ever gotten advice from barry zito? as much as we hate zito, the $120+M we spent on him could be partially recovered by panda hat revenues (zito coined the nickname) and potentially not locking timmy down for 4 years too many.

  8. Matty 4 years ago

    Posturing at its finest

  9. ultimate913 4 years ago

    Lock up Cain, Giants. It looks like Tim will be getting a Sabathia-esque contract when he hits FA, something you should avoid, like Zito.

    I’m not saying Tim well ever produce(well, not produce, in this case) like Zito does, but, if he needs TJS and never comes back the same with that contract already glued to him, the “torture” will continue and maybe become even worse.

  10. Alex 4 years ago

    Good man! Thanks lincy, u just gained a lot of respect

  11. jordan4giants 4 years ago

    Is it just me, or could he be saying this because he wants to leave SF as soon as he can? What I got from his comments were the following. “Give me money, a lot of money now for the next 2 years, and when I hit free agency in two years I can make even more with the Yankees or Red Sox because they also have an offence.” 

    • I have always wondered how happy he is in San Francisco(i can only bet you how pissed off Cain is pitching for the Giants), I’m on the east coast so I don’t see him much.

      • Jason_F 4 years ago

        You’re probably right.  He must hate the place where he won the Cy Young in his first two full seasons, a World Series title in his third full season and is completely and utterly revered by the hometown crowd.

      • Cain is one of the few Giants that actually lives in the city of San Francisco. He purchased a house and I’m pretty sure he loves the city. He is also the longest tenured Giant and probably the teams biggest leader.

    • He’s so protected from the media in the SF Clubhouse that I really have my doubts his social-anxiety, loner issues are going to play well in the AL East, but who knows, he is getting a little better at it every year.  He’s not at the Greinke level.

    • He’s so protected from the media in the SF Clubhouse that I really have my doubts his social-anxiety, loner issues are going to play well in the AL East, but who knows, he is getting a little better at it every year.  He’s not at the Greinke level.

  12. James Czerwinski 4 years ago

    Just too let you all know….Tim Lincecum if he ever becomes a free agent will NEVER go too the East Coast…he has comeout publicly and stated he does not like pitching on the East Coast…hates cold weather and wants too be close too home (Seattle area).  He will stay in California or Seattle.  He also stated that he loves living in SF and wouldn’t live anywhere else…..so I don’t know….

    • BlackDahliaMurder24 4 years ago

      Never is a very strong word, especially with the mammoth contracts NY and Boston will offer. It is very easy to come out and say these things when he can’t have offers from these teams, but not many people will turn down that type of money. And let us not forget that when he becomes a FA he will have Union pressure to take as large of a contract as possible to set the bar for the next generation for aces.

    • C.C. Sabathia said those same things then the Yankees offered him a contract he couldn’t refuse

    • blackandorangepride 4 years ago

      no he said he hated hot weather which is why he likes San Francisco a lot otherwise everything you said is right. He can’t stand pitching in really hot temperatures and he also hates the media.

  13. Dodgerblue18 4 years ago

    “he isn’t worried about the Giants’ offense, which currently ranks last in the National League in runs scored.”

    • James Czerwinski 4 years ago

      Hey Dodger fan…..go out and get a stable owner and then talk……no matter what you think…the Giants will stay in front of the Dodgers in the standings…….especially since you have a crappy manager and gm…….maybe he will sign Ross/Whiteside and Rowand this offseason!!

      • CRAPPY manager? Didn’t you watch last night’s game, Jim? THEY GOT TOMMY BACK!!!!! hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    • bayareabeast 4 years ago

      good observation..at least you guys are a game over .500 now.

  14. James Czerwinski 4 years ago

    They will have $$ too spend this off season and will make significant changes.  Jonathan Sanchez will be traded for a big bat and don’t be surprised if they go after one of the big FA’s such as Pujols/Fielder/Reyes.  Ross will be coming off the books and Huff might be traded as well since they have Belt and Pill who can play that position and/or OF.  If they can’t get Fielder, I would resign Beltran and go after Reyes and Cuddyer.  That lineup can win you some games and the division if it came too fruition.

    SS  Reyes
    2B  Sanchez
    RF  Beltran
    3B  Sandoval
    C    Posey
    LF  Cuddyer
    CF  Torres/Schierholtz
    1B  Belt/Pill

    UTL  Keppinger/Burris/Burrell/Stewart
    SP   Lincecum/Cain/Surkamp/Vogelsong/Zito

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      I was under the impression Jonathan Sanchez would be non tendered and what team would trade a big bat for a guy who can’t throw strikes and is a headcase?

      I wouldn’t be shocked to see them go after Pujols/Fielder though.

      • James Czerwinski 4 years ago

        They won’t non tender him…for the reason he is a LH Power Pitcher with great stuff/young but a head case….How bout too the Marlins for Hanley Ramirez???  He just won’t be non tendered…

        • William Kafer 4 years ago

          Did you just seriously suggest that Jonathan Sanchez is worth Hanley Ramierz? 

        • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

          He sounds like Oliver Perez to me. Would you trade Hanley Ramirez for Oliver Perez?

          I understand your point but he has no trade value. I’m sure teams would love to “fix” him but they’re not going to give anything of value for him. More than likely Jonathan Sanchez will be non tender and a team like the Mets will sign him or the Giants will resign him for a lesser price tag.

    • Beatofficer 4 years ago

      I think you’re forgetting a Mad Bum.

      • James Czerwinski 4 years ago

        Your right…my bad…
        Please insert him instead of Zito…what the hell was I thinking

    • BlackDahliaMurder24 4 years ago

      I think you may be forgetting that they have quite a few players getting raises next year (Cain jumps up by 8 mil). Plus, they will have Lincecum who will probably get at least 5 mil more. They do have some money coming off the books but they will need to trade Huff but they may have to eat a bit of his salary.

      • giantsfan4life 4 years ago

        Don’t forget Sandoval is also arbitration eligible and will be looking for around 3.5-4 million at least which is significantly higher than the 500k he makes this year. Pretty much all the money coming off the books is going right back into raises for current players, so unless the Giants significantly increase payroll they won’t be able to sign any big name free agents.

  15. James Czerwinski 4 years ago

    They did make the mistake this year by standing pat with that team.  I just hope and pray they don’t go after Jimmy Rollins…..I would rather have Reyes anyday of the week.  Even with the Zito contract, they will and do have $$$$ too spend.  They are one of the few MLB teams with there own TV contract and have all the merchandise$$ as well as attendance $$ from this season.

    • spliff(TONE) 4 years ago

      You are absolutely delusional if you believe the Giants can:

      a) trade the floundering, soon to be (2013) free agent, Sanchez for a big bat.

      b) sign Beltran, Reyes, and Cuddyer. They will be hard pressed to acquire even one of those three

    • giantsfan4life 4 years ago

      They’ve also got a massive mortgage on a stadium that eats a major portion of the payroll potential.

  16. This news would make me very nervous if I’m in the Giants FO. 

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      why? it won’t cost them much more and it limits their risk, too

      • No long term extension =  he’s dropping a hint he wants to test the open market in two years = he could be a goner in 2 years.

  17. Namio 4 years ago

    Let Timmy smoke!

  18. bigbird24 4 years ago

    Unless he becomes a raging drug addict or Lenny Dykstra, I doubt he’ll be regretting his arbitration numbers in the tens of millions.

  19. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    He may, however, regret foregoing the security of a long term deal. As I mentioned above, most experts and scouts cite Lincecum as an eventual injury concern. The last thing he needs is to end up needing Tommy John surgery in between contracts.

  20. Steve
    Steve 4 years ago

    Yeah, most of those ‘expert’ scouts are the same ones that advised that he shouldn’t be taken early in the 2006 draft. Oops!!

  21. The guy’s a full body pitcher with a great deal of flexibility, he’s not a total injury risk, scouts just don’t like him cause he’s unconventional. and he’s made enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life without the need for the long term contract security. Any money above 20-25 million is just gravy.

  22. James Czerwinski 4 years ago

    no not an idiot…..anyteam….and I mean anyteam…would love too have a flame throwing young LH SP who will be under contract…so no you are wrong buddy…but its all good….

  23. NickinIthaca 4 years ago

    And a life time supply of Philly Blunts

  24. fxx3605 4 years ago

    he rolls nick swisher

  25. Alex (not Pav) 4 years ago

    Totally concur with you, Tom. He might regret it but what’s to say his delivery is any different/worse than anyone else’s. Based on what scientific fact? Most experts and scouts might site as an eventual injury concern but based on what? The only that might change is his flexibility as he gets older … which is required with the form that he’s using to pitch with.

  26. Jason_F 4 years ago

    You’re wrong about this Jonathan Sanchez thing.  He is no longer young, as he’ll be 29 in 2012.  He just had the worst season of his career.  If he is even tendered a contract (not a gimme), which would require the Giants to pay him at least $5MM next year, 2012 will be the last year of arbitration for him.  Meaning he will be a free agent after next year.  So, no, he’s not really “under contract” either.  Your flame-thrower assertion is also incorrect, as his overall decline in fastball velocity has continued to the point where he averaged less than 90mph this season.  He also happened to lead ALL MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHERS in walk rate.  None of these things endear a pitcher to other teams that are looking to trade their “big bat.”  The Giants would be lucky to get a B prospect for him right now, as most teams would probably rather wait and see if he is just simply non-tendered first.

  27. bayareabeast 4 years ago

    lay off the crack pipe my man..

  28. bayareabeast 4 years ago

    thank you

  29. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    do you really not believe there’s a scientific basis for the emphasis on pitching mechanics? it’s just a freak accident every time pitchers blowout their arms?

  30. Feel bad for Tim.  When he finally gets an injury that any pitcher could easily get, a bunch of people are going to come out of the woodwork and act like its his mechanics.  Theroies and studies that can vary from team to another, thats whats out there.  To call it a science would be giving it way too much credit, and would be acting like its a lot more proven than it really is.Gymnast-level flexibillity gives you the freedom to have difficult mechanics and make a career of it.  That can go over time, but everyone who played the sure-fire injury card would have laughed at the idea that Lincecum would throw 1,000-Plus innings at this point, and almost always be at the top, or near the top of overall pitches year in, and year out.

    And still no trips to the DL.

  31. Feel bad for Tim.  When he finally gets an injury that any pitcher could easily get, a bunch of people are going to come out of the woodwork and act like its his mechanics.  Theroies and studies that can vary from team to another, thats whats out there.  To call it a science would be giving it way too much credit, and would be acting like its a lot more proven than it really is.Gymnast-level flexibillity gives you the freedom to have difficult mechanics and make a career of it.  That can go over time, but everyone who played the sure-fire injury card would have laughed at the idea that Lincecum would throw 1,000-Plus innings at this point, and almost always be at the top, or near the top of overall pitches year in, and year out.

    And still no trips to the DL.

  32. Namio 4 years ago

    A “Freak” accident with no pun intended.

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