A lot of people have speculated that the Giants would entertain trades for Tim Lincecum. The once-great, now in transition starter is under contract through the end of the year and many assumed the Giants would see what they could get for him. Maybe as a change-of-scenery candidate for someone. Maybe as a Smoltzian stint as a reliever.
Brian Sabean is not really inclined in that direction. He said this on KNBR radio yesterday:
“I expect Timmy to be in a Giant uniform,” Sabean said. “I find it hard to believe he’ll pitch elsewhere this year. … We need him to get back in this thing.”
I think that the usual track record for comments like that probably end with the player in question staying in town at about a 60-40 rate, but it may carry a bit more weight with Lincecum and the Giants. It’s rare that the Giants put up the white flag. And it’s not out of the question to think that Lincecum could regain his form at some point and prove himself valuable to the Giants.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.