The Giants officially announced their extension with Tim Lincecum today and it was the club's early willingness to get a deal done that helped convince the two-time Cy Young Award winner to stay. “When they made the push it was hard for me not to respond,” Lincecum said during a conference call with reporters (including The San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman). “The relationship kept pushing until it found us sitting here at two years, $35 million, and I’m really, really, really happy about that.” The righty also noted that his struggles over the last two seasons served as some motivation to remain in San Francisco, as "that’s not the way you want to go out."
Here are some more items from AT&T Park…
- Lincecum said that he would consider returning to play for his hometown Mariners near the end of his career but "wasn’t ready for that kind of jump" at this point.
- Giants president Larry Baer denied that Lincecum was only re-signed for his marketability and popularity with San Francisco fans. "Everybody on the baseball side who was evaluating it said this was the right thing for the Giants to keep the rotation strong and keep the team’s chances of winning strong, with all he’s capable of doing and all he’s done over the years," Baer said.
- Even after re-signing Lincecum and Hunter Pence, assistant GM Bobby Evans said the Giants still have enough "flexibility" to look at "outside options to solidify the rotation." Evans did say it would be "problematic" for the club to pursue qualifying offer-rejecting free agents since the Giants have an unprotected first-round draft pick.
- Evans wasn't sure if the team would also be able to re-sign southpaw Javier Lopez before he tests the free agent market (hat tip to CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly). Lopez is coming off the best season of his 11-year career, having posted a 1.83 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 3.08 K:BB rate in 39 1/3 IP in 2013.
- "The industry is going nuts" over the Lincecum extension, ESPN's Buster Olney writes (Insider subscription required) but the deal is "such an outlier" that Olney doesn't think it will heavily impact the rest of the free agent pitching market.
- It's no surprise that Pablo Sandoval's name that been floated in trade rumors, MLB.com's Chris Haft writes. Sandoval will hit free agency after the 2014 season and the Giants have questions about the Panda's consistency at the plate and his physical conditioning. Haft opines that Sandoval would draw a lot of attention on the trade market and he could be dealt for starting pitching or perhaps a second baseman (as Marco Scutaro would take over at third base).