Giants likely headed to hearing with Lincecum

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wave.JPGTim Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News Tuesday that the Giants have not engaged him in significant contract negotiations and an arbitration hearing will almost certainly be necessary to decide the right-hander’s 2010 salary.

“I think that’s the direction (a hearing) they’ve wanted this go from
Day One,” said Thurman, “simply because there’s been little or no discussions with
regards to a contract. … We prepared this case from Day One to go (to a hearing), and that still
appears to be the case.”

Lincecum requested $13 million and was offered $8 million from the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged two weeks ago.  CTB’s own Craig Calcaterra called the club’s proposal  a “lowball offer” back when the news first broke and it still seems like quite a small sum for a 25-year-old kid who is 40-17 with a 2.90 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over his first 90 major league starts.  The Giants’ bid looks especially stingy when you consider the opinion of a respected reporter like Yahoo’s Tim Brown, who suggested in late November that Lincecum might be justified in requesting a sum close to $23 million.

Teams almost always win arbitration hearings, but our bet is on the San Francisco ace this time around.

A.J. Pollock may be the Dodgers’ next free agent target

A.J. Pollock
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Free agent outfielder A.J. Pollock has landed on the Dodgers’ radar, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal says the two appear to be in discussions regarding a deal for 2019. Terms of any prospective deal have not been released, but interest is presumed to be fairly high as he checks two boxes on their wish list: that of a right-handed hitter and an experienced centerfielder.

Pollock, 31, rounded out a seven-year career with the Diamondbacks in 2018. While he was sidelined for nearly seven weeks after fracturing his left thumb on a dive gone wrong, he finished the season batting a hearty .257/.316/.484 with a career-best 21 home runs, 13 steals (in 15 chances), and 2.5 fWAR across 460 plate appearances. He received a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the club at the end of the year and elected to enter free agency in hopes of a better deal, which some have estimated at five years and $80 million.

So far, it’s not clear whether teams are willing to meet those terms. Pollock profiles as both a solid hitter and defender, but he hasn’t played a season in full health since 2015, which may be a deal-breaker for those in search of long-term talent. Even with that caveat, however, the Dodgers are far from the only club willing to enter negotiations with the outfielder this winter. The Braves have been linked to Pollock since December, and the Mets and Reds have expressed varying levels of interest as well.