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.

Cubs, Braves get into it over . . . pitch framing?

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Last night Willson Contreras of the Cubs was batting against Julio Teherán of the Braves. Tyler Flowers was catching. Teherán got a called strike that Contreras didn’t much like and he turned to jaw at the umpire and Flowers. Then Contreras launched a homer to right field.

As Contreras left the batter’s box he turned to say something to Flowers. Then he looked into the Braves dugout. When he got home he and Flowers jawed like crazy with some high-dollar curse words exchanged. That led to the benches emptying. Watch:

After the game, Joe Maddon said “It was an exchange based on catching technique . . . I was kind of amused by the whole thing.” It certainly seemed like a situation in which one catcher was trying to condition the ump to get the calls the opposing catcher was getting. Contreras said, however, that Flowers “jumped into the conversation,” and that after he hit the homer, he told Flowers, “you do your job I’ll do mine.”

“He got pissed off,” Contreras said of Flowers. Seems accurate. Flowers’ take on it was pretty par for the course for a Braves catcher:

“I got no problem with him saying anything to me, but when it starts to reflect on our pitcher on the mound and our team, that’s more of an issue for me . . . It was all very unnecessary in my opinion. The guy is a decent hitter, he doesn’t need to complain about every call. We won’t get into that aspect of the game we just finished. He got plenty of calls for his guys, too. Sometimes you need to pick your battles, and that’s hopefully something he will learn as he gets a little bit older.”

Flowers is 33. Contreras is 27. I guess those six are the most critical years in adult development. Who knew?

The best part of it was when Braves announcer Jeff Francoeur said that he wished he had thrown a “haymaker” at Contreras when he was still playing and the Braves and Cubs got into a similar beef back in 2016. Because that’s helpful. Francoeur, by the way, is 35. No word on what he’ll learn as he gets older.

Whatever. As far as drama goes it wasn’t exactly pitched and it’d be rather silly if this resulted in discipline for anyone. Guess we’ll wait for one of those 4:47PM press releases from Major League Baseball to see if that’s the case.