Before signing latest deal with the Giants, Tim Lincecum thought about joining the Mariners

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The Giants locked up right-hander Tim Lincecum to a two-year, $35 million contract on Tuesday. Via CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly, while he was contemplating his future prior to signing the deal, Lincecum thought about playing for the Seattle Mariners. Lincecum grew up in Washington, attending Liberty Senior High School in Renton, then playing for the Washington Huskies in college. Lincecum did say he would like to explore the opportunity later in his career.

Lincecum said he is “really, really, really happy” about returning to the Giants, per Hank Schulman. Lincecum will be a Giant through the 2015 season, when he will be 31 years old. He is trying to rebound from two bad seasons, finishing 2012 with a 5.18 ERA and 2013 with a 4.37 ERA. He said that his poor form recently is “not the way you want to go out”.

Over his seven-year career in San Francisco, Lincecum has posted a 3.46 ERA over 1,411.2 innings, winning the National League Cy Young award in back-to-back seasons in 2008-09 and earning two World Series rings in the process in 2010 and ’12.

Pitch clock cut minor league games by 25 minutes to 2:38

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NEW YORK — Use of pitch clocks cut the average time of minor league games by 25 minutes this year, a reduction Major League Baseball hopes is replicated when the devices are installed in the big leagues next season.

The average time of minor league games dropped to 2 hours, 38 minutes in the season that ended Wednesday, according to the commissioner’s office. That was down from 3:03 during the 2021 season.

Clocks at Triple-A were set at 14 seconds with no runners on base and 19 with runners. At lower levels, the clocks were at 18 seconds with runners.

Big league nine-inning games are averaging 3:04 this season.

MLB announced on Sept. 9 that clocks will be introduced in the major leagues next year at 15 seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners, a decision opposed by the players’ association.

Pitchers are penalized a ball for violating the clock. In the minors, violations decreased from an average of 1.73 per game in the second week to 0.41 in week 24.

There will be a limit of two pickoff attempts or stepoffs per plate appearance, a rule that also was part of the minor league experiment this season. A third pickoff throw that is not successful would result in a balk.

Stolen bases increased to an average of 2.81 per game from 2.23 in the minors this year and the success rate rose to 78% from 68%.

Many offensive measurements were relatively stable: runs per team per game increased to 5.13 from 5.11 and batting average to .249 from .247.

Plate appearances resulting in home runs dropped to 2.7% from 2.8%, strikeouts declined to 24.4% from 25.4% and walks rose to 10.5% from 10.2%. Hit batters remained at 1.6%.