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.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.