There is “mutual and strong” interest for Tim Lincecum to return to the Giants

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Tim Lincecum has pitched only 76 innings this year in 15 games and, while his numbers were arguably a tad better than they’ve been in recent years, he’s still a shell of what he once was. Indeed, over the past four years he’s 39-42 with a 4.68 ERA, a 1.402 WHIP and a K/BB ratio of 577/267 in 615.2 innings.

That’s ham-and-egger stuff at best, though he’s been paid $75 million over that time. And he’s been on the shelf since the beginning of this month with hip surgery. All of that taken together, one assumes that the Giants and Linceucm, who is at the end of his current two-year deal, will soon be parting ways.

Not so fast! Here’s Andrew Baggarly of the Merc writing after last night’s game:

There wasn’t an opportunity for Tim Lincecum to acknowledge the fans, as he had hoped. But there’s still a chance he’ll be back this weekend.

In any event, a goodbye might not be necessary. The interest is mutual and strong to re-sign Lincecum, from what I’m told. It’s more a matter of when, how much and in what form, rather than if.

You would assume that it wouldn’t be a big deal given where Lincecum is as a pitcher these days. But with Tim Hudson retiring and no small number of holes in the Giants’ rotation heading into next year, it’s at least worth a shot for the club to see if a post-surgery Lincecum has anything left.