M’s fans say Lincecum not worth that price
While Mariners fans are anxious for general manager Jack Zduriencik to add new talent to the roster this offseason, 81 percent of respondents to a quick Twitter poll said they would not have wanted the club to sign Tim Lincecum for the two-year, $35 million deal he got with the Giants on Tuesday.
There had been some early speculation that Lincecum might be interested in signing with his hometown Mariners club as he hit free agency this offseason, but the Giants never let things get that far as they inked their former two-time National League Cy Young winner to a new deal before the free agency period begins following the World Series.
Lincecum, 29, grew up just east of Seattle in Bellevue and pitched for Liberty High School in Renton and the University of Washington before the Mariners passed over him in the 2006 Draft and instead took pitcher Brandon Morrow out of California. Lincecum then proceeded to go 69-41 with a 2.81 ERA and win four All-Star berths from 2008-11 in San Francisco.
But the hard-throwing right-hander lost a little off his fastball and was 20-29 with a 4.76 ERA the past two years, and the Giants are paying a steep price now for a pitcher they’d already spent $63 million on over the past four seasons when he was arbitration eligible, including $22 million last season when he was 10-14 with a 4.37 ERA in 32 starts.
The general consensus of Mariners fans responding to the informal survey on my Twitter account (@gregjohnsMLB) seemed to be that Lincecum might have been a nice addition to the staff, but not at that cost. Of the 96 respondents to the survey, 78 said they would not have wanted the Mariners to sign Lincecum to a two-year, $35 million deal.
Zduriencik would like to add a veteran pitcher to the Mariners’ mix, most likely a mid-rotation type to slide in behind Felix Hernandez and Hishashi Iwakuma, in order to take some pressure off up-and-coming youngsters Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Brandon Maurer and Erasmo Ramirez.
It seems doubtful the Mariners would have spent that sort of money on another starter, however, given their bigger need seems to be adding more offensive punch. But the price tag for pitching just went up, if Lincecum’s deal is any indication. Or perhaps this was just the Giants overspending to keep their own popular pitcher in San Francisco.
Either way, Lincecum is now off the market for another two years.