Since the MLB off-season began, it has been widely reported that San Francisco Giants starting pitcher has been seeking a short-term deal in order to maximize his value. On Tuesday afternoon, that short-term deal became a reality.
Tim Lincecum and the #SFGiants have agreed to terms on a two year deal covering the 2014-15 seasons, pending a physical.
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) October 22, 2013
This announcement by the Giants isn’t terribly surprising, as there is a reasonable need for pitching in San Francisco, and the Giants organization is the only one that Linececum has ever pitched for. However, details are beginning to surface, and if the reported monetary terms of the deal are true, it becomes an almost shocking transaction.
Tim Lincecum deal is believed to be for $35M over 2 years
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) October 22, 2013
As the Tweet above indicates, Jon Heyman of CBS is reporting that the Lincecum deal will be worth a total of $35 million of 2 years. That would constitute what most would perceive as a wild overpayment for a pitcher that has visibly struggled over the past two seasons. For reference, the 29-year-old right-hander has submitted ERAs of 5.18 and 4.37 in 2012 and 2013 respectively, and his strikeout numbers (while still very good) have slipped along with his run-allowing issues.
The going rate for starting pitching seems to be rising by the year, with pitchers like Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez garnering $175+ million contracts and Clayton Kershaw poised to demand north of $250 million, but investing this type of money, even in the short-term, for Lincecum seems crazy. We will wait for more details to emerge (or simply confirm Heyman’s report), but then, the debate will begin in earnest as to whether Lincecum is worth this type of money at this stage in his career.