Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Timmy's Back!

I have no problem with the Giants signing Tim Lincecum for two years and $35M. "It's an overpay" is the meme o' the day, and there's no doubt the contract comes with a risk. The man they call The Freak has generated negative WAR in the last two seasons, according to Baseball-Reference, and only 2.5 WAR if you go by FanGraphs. But the Giants are going with the "he sucked a lot less last year than the year before" logic here, and I'm OK with it. Timmy is a unique case. This is a guy who turned down a 5-year, $100M deal because he didn't want to make any long-term commitments! I liked what I saw last season, and I do believe that Lincecum is going to improve and continue to improve. He may never be the 7-WAR beast he was in those Cy Young seasons, but I think he will be at least a 3-WAR pitcher in each of the next two years. And what if he does rediscover the magic and rack up 5 or 6 WAR? He'd be a bargain then, wouldn't he? Timmy, like I said, is a special case. He's an unusual athlete and I think the Giants value Tim for being Tim and aren't falling into the trap of trying to replace him with some imaginary pitcher that doesn't exist. Take a look at the rest of the free agent list and tell me if you'd prefer Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, or Ubaldo Jimenez instead. Obviously a guy like Hiroki Kuroda would be highly prized, but he's 39 years old. (I think the Giants should take a chance on Josh Johnson.)

Welcome back, Tim!


p.s. What's a win cost these days? I'll bet it's creeping up toward $7M. Salaries are going up--guys cost more than they did and we are lucky the Giants have the resources to compete. I'll say it again: welcome back, Tim.

p.p.s. I'm looking forward to enjoying the World Series but if I have to hear again about "The Cardinal Way" and all that crap I'll turn the shit off. They've done a great job drafting talent, no argument there, but there is no "right way" to play the game, so please, no more. There are lots of ways to win, fer chrissakes. I think Boston has the edge, mostly because it is an AL year for home field. Otherwise, it's a tossup. I don't really care about the outcome, but my mom is from Boston and is a Sox fan from way back, so I'll probably lean that way. She's the one who taught me to love the game.


Zo said...

With LA buying everything in site (and then NOT getting into the World Series NOT NOT NOT!!!) it is hard to say what is overpaying. I'm good with it. I have to say, though, everyone on Boston except Uehara should really shave. So unkempt. Think of the impression on our youth!

nomisnala said...

I am glad to have Timmy but because of free agency this is an extreme overpay. Because of his past success and recent failures, the fairest contract would have been an incentive laden contract that starts off for a 3 or 4 starter and works its way up to a 1starter if he pitches like a one. I think for 35 million he can work on his control, work on holding runners, and see a psychologist to help him learn how to focus and concentrate and thus deliver in key situations. If he continues to walk the lead off batter he should just pitch from the stretch. He needs to hold runners, instead of starting the game with a leadoff walk, a stolen base, a wild pitch, and a sac fly, Finding himself down 1-0 early in the game without even giving up a hit.

M.C. O'Connor said...

You had to figure a qualifying offer, and that's $14M or so right there. He probably doesn't get 35-for-two on the open market (I thought maybe 45-for-3 was as good as he would do) but you never know. There is a LOT of money in the game right now and teams are flush. Hard to predict what teams were willing to pay. I'm just happy the Big Three stay together, and like I said, I have faith in Tim and think he will raise his game (even though he got a pay cut!).

Ron said...

Is Brian Wilson next? Is he still a Closer, or is he a Set-Up Guy? I could see us in the mix for Wilson, although I think that his brief stint in the Regular Season/Post-Season has increased his perceived value beyond what we will want to pay.

What we really need is a Free Agent OF with a little thump - there are quite a few of those around this year, although Ellsbury is probably not going to happen.

What is the next best reasonable option? Everyone seems to love Shin-Soo Choo, but that means that he will be really paid a lot. Marlon Byrd put together a few good months for the Mets & Pirates, but is old & does not have a season-long track record at any point in the NL parts of his career.


Zo said...

I think the question with Wilson is whether he would want, or expect to be a closer. I don't think that the Giants or anyone else is ready to hand him that role, which suggests that he may wind up on a team with an unsure closer situation. If he is willing to accept a set-up role, that is another matter, and set up men get paid a lot less than closers. Although I read something about how he wants to be in that closer's role, I don't have any idea about his mindset or how much residual bad vibes (if any) may exist between him and the Giants.

Ron said...

Should we be interested in B. Arroyo, A. J. Burnett, or T. Hudson? Or, are we OK w/ Cain, Bumgarner, Lincecum, Vogelsong, & Petit? Given how unproven Petit is & how shaky Vogelsong was last year, I think that we should have someone else in our hip pocket. After all, LA has about 9 starting pitchers coming into camp next year.

Of those 3, Arroyo is probably the most reliable, & Hudson is the most intriguing.

I am discounting interest in R. Nolasco, U. Jimenez, & H. Kuroda, because I think that they are destined to be overpaid by a wide margin.

M.C. O'Connor said...

How about Dan Haren?

Like I said before, I think Josh Johnson needs the pitcher-whisperer treatment from Rags.

Ron said...

I like Arroyo, because he is a 'fly ball pitcher', & that's a good thing in our park. I like finding an 'old guy' for that 4th or 5th starter role, because it means that we can likely sign someone for only 1 or 2 years. The 3 guys who I named are all 36 or older. Some of the other names around are younger, other than Kuroda.

It appears to me that Kyle Crick is a legit prospect, so I expect him in the rotation by either 2015 or, at the latest, 2016. Or, could he be the new Michael Wacha in late 2014?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Wow, the Red Sox made a stupid throw in Boston to blow a game and then made a stupid throw tonight to blow a game. How does THAT happen? Craig Breslow defended his throw to 3rd that let in the go-ahead run on Thursday night as "the right play." No, there were two outs. The game was tied. There was a very low probability of getting the runner. Eat the ball, take the out, the game's tied you are at home. Bad decision compounded by poor execution.

Tonight was the same thing: tie game, two outs. The Sox just saved the game by getting the out at the plate, then Saltalamacchia decides to play hero and throws it to 3rd and throws it away. Very little chance to get the runner--eat the ball, take the out, trust your closer to get the next guy, a weak hitter. Instead the game's over. Very surprising from a catcher, who should have his head in the game. Pitchers? Not so much.

Cardinals have some serious young power arms. That's what's given them the edge so far. That and Boston brain farts.

Zo said...

That said, St. Louis played poorly Friday night. Had they had their heads in the game, they should have been up by about 7 - 1. Missed offensive opportunities and some poor defense nearly cost them the game. Saturday, more of the same. Missed opportunities on offense, and bad timing to put in relief pitcher just in time to hang a slider. Then, getting picked off first 2 runs down, 2 outs, 9th inning with Beltran at the plate? WTF? What was the first base coach telling him? It's not like he had to take off to make sure the double play didn't happen. I have to say that the Cardinals deserved to lose both Friday's and Saturday's games.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Ron Wotus interviews in Seattle.

He certainly deserves a shot to manage. Hate to lose him, though.

Zo said...

If Boston wins, which I firmly now believe that they will, the tag line for this World Series will be Mike Matheny's oft repeated, "Go ahead and pitch to him. Ortiz surely has cooled off by now."

Brother Bob said...

JC, I demand you post your thoughts on the Timmy Contract, dammit.