If you’ve read that line here before it is because this news refuses to sink into my brain, especially after watching the Giants sad sack offense score two runs a game throughout 2011.
The Giants need to improve their offense if they hope to improve in 2012. The Giants also need to re-sign Tim Linecum to another contract as he faces arbitration once again. They want many years. He wants to sell off very few, with an assumed eye towards free agency. Should the Giants entertain trade offers? Doesn’t matter, they won’t listen.
This isn’t a bad idea, especially when going “on the record” means very little. Whenever Sabean and his cohort are involved, it is easy to assume they’ll do whatever seems like the silliest thing. Listening on one of the best pitchers in baseball is almost for sure in the Giants best interests.
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs ran down the list of reasons trading Lincecum might be possible in early November. Nothing has changed in that time, other than the Dodgers lining up the kind hitters to make sure Lincecum nets even more in arbitration, should he get there. The Giants could reload their system or acquire several big-league ready players, a commodity their system doesn’t produce in significant volumes.
It might just be too early to talk Timmy trade. The two-time Cy Young winner isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season. That allows plenty of time for the Giants to get Lincecum-level performance at a discount before opening the floodgates.
Of course, if some prospect-rich team called the Giants front office with an offer too good to refuse, Sabean would listen. He must. It’s his job, after all. The iconic status of Tim Lincecum cannot come before the health of the club, can it?
It just might. Sabean and Bochy are pretty much into “GM and Manager For Life” status now. The World Series victory gives them all manner of house money to fritter away on ageing middle-infielders. Keep the building full and the warm fuzzies strong in the Bay Area.
It isn’t as if keeping Lincecum is a bad thing; there are many worse horses to which one may hitch their wagon. Just seems a little short-sighted considering the nine-digit contract awaiting him somewhere. It would be a shame to see the team get stage-fright when the time comes to commit to the face of the franchise on his terms.