Tim Lincecum Rumors
There are early indications that the Giants will have a decent or better chance to lock Matt Cain on another long-term deal, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman adds that the club offered Tim Lincecum a deal worth at least $100MM over five years but is now focusing on one- and two-year deals after being rebuffed.
Giants people are saying only that talks are "ongoing'' with Cain, but there seems to be a fair amount of optimism they can keep Cain for less than $20MM a season. Cain already took one long team-friendly deal when he agreed to a three-year, $27.25MM contract prior to the 2010 season. Our own Luke Adams recently explored what it would take for the Giants to lock the 27-year-old up with a new deal.
However, Lincecum seems more likely to wind up with a two-year deal rather than sign a contract into his free-agent years. We've heard all offseason that the pitcher is in search of a short-term deal. Yesterday we learned that the Giants offered a two-year, $40MM contract and Lincecum's representatives countered with a two-year, $44MM offer.
Heyman writes that baseball people believe that Cain could match Cliff Lee's $120MM deal as a free agent if he tests the market after the year, but word is that he badly wants to stay in San Francisco. Those in the industry also believe that if Lincecum can put together two more outstanding years, he can become the game's first $200MM pitcher on the open market in 2013.
The Giants have offered Tim Lincecum a two-year, $40MM contract and the pitcher's representatives have countered with a two-year, $44MM offer, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). The small gap between the two offers leads Brown to believe that an agreement will be reached.
Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reported yesterday that "significant progress" had been made between the two sides since they filed their arbitration figures (Lincecum for $21.5MM, the Giants for $17MM). A two-year contract would cover both of Lincecum's remaining arbitration years and also fit Lincecum's stated preference for short-term deals, though the Giants had also explored an eight-year extension with the two-time Cy Young Award winner earlier this winter.
Friday night links..
- The Giants and the agent for Tim Lincecum have made significant progress since exchanging arbitration figures and both sides are confident that a resolution can be reached before a hearing would be scheduled, writes Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News.
- The Reds could look to land an infielder via trade, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- It appears that talks between the Rockies and Red Sox regarding Marco Scutaro are dormant, but Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes that Boston's possible motivation for a move involving Scutaro would be to free up payroll. The club has reportedly expressed interest in White Sox starter Gavin Floyd and free agent outfielder Cody Ross, but neither move could be made unless a trade was made to offer budgetary relief according to a source.
- The Royals and Alex Gordon aren't particularly close on a deal but talks remain cordial and both sides want to get something done, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- Left-hander Jeff Francis is starting to attract more interest from teams in the market for a starting pitcher including the Mariners, Reds, Blue Jays, and Mets, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter links)
- Jesus Montero has dealt with his visa issue and is scheduled to travel from Florida to Seattle today for his Mariners physical, tweets Ken Davidoff of Newsday.
- Braves GM Frank Wren doesn't believe that his club has a major personnel need, writes Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wren also believes that this year's bullpen figures to be even deeper that last year's.
- Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post (via Twitter) is told that the Marlins have no interest in bringing Ivan Rodriguez back.
Tim Lincecum filed for a $21.5MM salary through arbitration and the Giants countered at $17MM, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets. Both figures set new records for players with less than six years of service time. Derek Jeter ($18.5MM) and the Yankees ($14.25MM) had established the previous marks more than a decade ago, in 2001.
Roger Clemens once filed for a $22MM salary via arbitration, but it was after he had become eligible for free agency.
Ryan Vogelsong signed a minor league deal with the Giants exactly one year ago on his way to a breakout season. The 34-year-old pitched 179 2/3 innings with a 2.71 ERA, 7.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 2012. The Giants liked what they saw and agreed to terms on a two-year, $8.3MM extension earlier this evening. Here's a look ahead to a couple of the Giants' other extension candidates via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News...
- Tim Lincecum's agent said the Giants haven’t had dialogue with Lincecum in at least a month, Baggarly reports.
- Giants VP of Baseball Operations Bobby Evans said the team hopes an arbitration hearing with Lincecum won't be necessary. "You do the best you can to find common ground, I remain optimistic we will," Evans said.
- Evans said he has had "healthy, ongoing dialogue" with the representatives for Matt Cain about an extension, Baggarly reports. MLBTR’s Luke Adams looked ahead to a possible Cain extension last month.
- Madison Bumgarner is also an extension candidate, as MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes explained.
A sizable gap still exists between the Giants and arbitration eligible right-hander Tim Lincecum as the sides explore a possible extension, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Negotiations have taken place this winter, but the sides appear to remain a couple of years and tens of millions of dollars apart.
The Giants are believed to have offered Lincecum four years and $80MM or so this past summer and appear to have enhanced the proposal in the past few weeks. Lincecum is “thought to be seeking an eight-year deal,” but Heyman hears that the sides are also presently considering one and two-year options.
Lincecum projects to earn a 2012 salary of $19.2MM through arbitration. The Giants control his rights through 2013, when his salary could approach or exceed $25MM through arbitration. The Giants’ ultimate goal has been to buy out some of Lincecum’s free agent years, according to Heyman.
Lincecum, 27, has a 2.98 ERA with 9.9 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 47.1% ground ball rate in 1028 career innings. The Beverly Hills Sports Council client has two Cy Young Awards and four All-Star Game selections to his name. Only four pitchers -- Roy Halladay, C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander and Dan Haren -- have produced more wins above replacement since 2007, Lincecum's rookie season.
- Cain's representatives spoke with Giants VP Bobby Evans during the Winter Meetings. Baggarly says "all indications are that the Giants plan to be aggressive in locking up Cain before he reports to spring training."
- The "benchmark" for a Cain extension seems to be the six-year, $99MM offer from the Marlins that C.J. Wilson reportedly turned down before signing with the Angels. "Cain is younger and better than Wilson," an industry source tells Baggarly. "He'd get $150 million on the open market."
- When Cain signed his three-year, $27.25MM extension in March 2010, a fourth year (worth $16MM) was originally part of the contract but the Giants removed it from the deal due to worries about loose bodies found in a scan of Cain's throwing elbow. Rick Landrum, one of Cain's representatives, didn't know why the Giants removed the fourth year since Cain's medical information hadn't changed, but said it wouldn't affect the current talks with the club. For what it's worth, Cain has thrown 445 innings over the last two seasons and appears as durable as ever.
- Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported earlier this week that Lincecum was seeking an eight-year contract. Baggarly confirms this item and adds that the eight-year proposal "was believed to include opt-out language." In another piece, Baggarly hears from Evans that while the Giants don't have a policy against such opt-out clauses, the club is "not inclined (because) it’s not strategically beneficial to us.”
- "The feeling around the league" is that the Giants will eventually have to part ways with one of the two aces.
- The team has had discussions about re-signing Travis Ishikawa, who is a minor league free agent. Shoulder surgery limited Ishikawa to 56 games with Triple-A Fresno last season.
The Giants will not explore trading ace Tim Lincecum if they're unable to sign him long-term this winter, GM Brian Sabean told reporters including Andrew Baggarly. Lincecum is under team control through 2013, and is line for a historic arbitration payday for each season. Yesterday we learned that Lincecum's agent met with the Giants but little progress was made.
I'll be at the wheel until 8am again as part of MLBTR's 24/7 Winter Meetings coverage. Here's tonight's batch of overnight quick hits that will be updated throughout the wee hours of the morning...
- After speaking with several Orioles executives yesterday, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun has a gut feeling that an O's trade will take place today. Connolly notes that Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, and Nick Markakis won't be going anywhere, though.
- Adam LaRoche says he's 100% and ready for Opening Day, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that the Nationals would still like to add a right-handed insurance policy at first base that could also platoon with LaRoche if needed.
- The Giants are looking to add offense but aren't comfortable offering three-year deals -- at least not yet, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Morosi speculates that Twins free agents Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel seem like three-year types. Personally, I think Cuddyer will have an easier time finding three years than Kubel.
- Jon Heyman of the MLB Network tweets that the Giants also met with Tim Lincecum's agent, Rick Thurman of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, on Monday, but talks didn't progress much. Over the weekend, it was reported that the Giants are seeking a four-year deal while Lincecum prefers to either sign for eight years, or stick to a one- or two-year deal.
- White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin is aware that he's a trade candidate and is eager to learn his fate, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin.
- George Sherrill is on the Phillies' radar, writes MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Phillies special advisor Pat Gillick told reporters on Monday that it would be nice to add a veteran left-hander to complement Antonio Bastardo.
Sunday afternoon linkage..
- The Giants are seeking middle ground with Tim Lincecum in their contract talks, tweets Jon Heyman of SI. The club's first offer was for four years but the right-hander would like eight years in a long-term deal. Lincecum is also comfortable with a one or two-year deal.
- The Mets would love to trade for Athletics closer Andrew Bailey but are more likely to sign one or two relievers from a list that includes Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Brad Lidge, and Matt Capps, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post.
- The Marlins are in the mix for most of this winter's top free agents but haven't landed a big-name free agent since signing Carlos Delgado after the 2004 season. Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel caught up with Delgado's agent, David Sloane, to recap how that came to happen. The slugger was pursued by the Mets, Orioles, Rangers, and Mariners during the Winter Meetings but didn't hear from the Fish until ten days after they concluded.
- The Dodgers' payroll will be below $90MM, the lowest in years, thanks in part to the backloaded deal they gave to pitcher Chris Capuano, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.