Tim Lincecum struggled often in 2012, but the Giants haven’t given up on him long-term, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter links). In fact, the prospect of re-signing Lincecum next offseason, when he’s eligible for free agency for the first time, figured into some of the Giants’ budgetary decisions this year.
Lincecum will hit free agency after earning $22MM in 2013. The 28-year-old has two Cy Young Awards and two World Series titles on his resume, but he struggled throughout the 2012 regular season, posting a 5.18 ERA with 9.2 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 and a 45.9% ground ball rate in 186 innings. Lincecum, a client of Beverly Hills Sports Council, led the league in wild pitches and earned runs during the regular season before contributing out of the bullpen during the Giants' World Series run. His average fastball velocity dipped to a career low 90.4 mph during the regular season.