Tim Lincecum has a guaranteed contract offer from a team that’s not the Giants, according to a source. This means that if the Giants want to compete with this offer, they’ll need to offer something better than a minor-league deal, which almost certainly isn’t going to happen.
A successful reunion was a beautiful dream, but some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Fly, fly away, dreams of a new Ryan Vogelsong. Fly free and far. Like, out of the state, please.
If we’re being entirely honest, the Tony Watson deal was probably the final nail in this particular coffin, as the Giants are going to be squeak-squeak-squeaking against the luxury tax threshold this year. Really, the Watson deal was probably bad news for Derek Holland, Gregor Blanco, and Andres Blanco, too, but that’s a story for another time.
What we know is that the Giants were complimentary but not exactly super-duper-jazzed after Lincecum’s showcase, which would seemingly put them in minor-league-deal territory. That wouldn’t have been a huge problem if every interested team offered the same thing, but the guaranteed contract is a pretty substantial development. Unless Lincecum is willing to pass up the guaranteed money for hometown fuzzies, he’s not likely to accept anything less.
(As an aside: I was also told that there are old, grumbly beat writers sharing my obviously satirical Twitter bio with each other as proof that the younger generation doesn’t care about ethics in baseball journalism anymore, and I laugh every time I’m reminded of this. But this #source was not Tim Lincecum’s agent, so maaaaybe I should change that bio to clear up any potential confusion.)
If there’s any good news to be gleaned from this Lincecum update for people hoping he would return, it’s that the Dodgers are also extremely unlikely to be the team interested in a guaranteed contract.
The Padres, though?
Oh, you’d better believe this fits with what the Padres would consider. Note that I don’t know which team has the offer on the table, just that it isn’t the Giants. But the Padres’ rotation would probably be improved with a papier-mache Tim Lincecum with levers and pulleys that are controlled by the second baseman, and they have money to spend. Lincecum wants to stay on the West Coast, so you don’t have to draw a complicated diagram to get him there.
There’s also the chance that the guaranteed contract is from, like, the Marlins, and it’s good for negotiating purposes but less than desirable for a player who might want to have fun in 2018. If you want to respond with a “so you’re saying there’s a chance” GIF, that’s your absolute right.
But it looks like there’s a team that’s willing to give Lincecum guaranteed money and a spot on a 25-man roster based on his showcase. While that’s good news for him — and great news for baseball if he’s successful — it’s bad news for anyone hoping the Giants were going to swoop in and sign him to a minor-league deal and have him compete with Ty Blach, Tyler Beede, Andrew Suarez, and Derek Holland for the last spot in the rotation.