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.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.