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.
Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.
No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.
Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:
Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.
Manfred didn’t stop there, however.
An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.
Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?