If you've ever watched Tim Lincecum play baseball, then you know he is a bird of a different color. One person who most certainly knows this is Rick Thurman, Timmy's agent, who is already setting his client up for possibly the biggest payday ever received by a pitcher. But as a San Francisco Giants fan, that likely isn't good new for you.
With his new two-year, $40 million contract, Lincecum is likely setting himself up for a grandiose exit from the Bay to whomever the highest bidder may be; and that almost certainly won't be the Black and Orange.
Two years from now when Lincecum becomes a free agent he will be set up for a uber, mega-contract; possibly even the first pitcher to reach the $200 million range likely too rich for the Giants blood as of now.
Lincecum is the gambler. He's the swashbuckler...He seems to want to bet on himself, and if he puts together two more typical years, he may cash in big. Some could even see him as the game's first $200-million pitcher.
Assuming that he continues on his current level of brilliance wouldn't be considered stupid, but avoiding serious injury is far fro a given. But, given his status as the 'Freak,' I'd like to that's rather unlikely (knock on wood).
It's almost always a baseball no-no to give a pitcher a long term deal (insert Barry Zito jab here), so I'm more than fine with the two years Timmy has now. He's paid like the elite player he is, didn't completely break the team's bank and the Giants have time to decide what his worth will be once he hits the market after 2013. If he wants to get paid, he'll have to keep performing at a high level the next two seasons, meaning fans will have two exciting years of watching Tim blow away batters. After that, it's all a mystery.
Many fans will assuredly been watching the countdown clock on Timmy's contract, which runs up to day he can become a free agent, fearing the strike of midnight that could leave him wearing pinstripes of even (heaven forbid) a Dodgers cap. But we shouldn't pout over the current state of Timmy's status, for he remains with the Giants for two more seasons at least.
Here's Grant Brisbee over at McCovey Chronicles to give us all some perspective:
Pretend that Lincecum was already a super-free-agent. He's on the market already, courting, dining, and negotiating. There are rumors. There are rumors of the rumors. There is that guy that knows a guy who didn't want to tweet this but here goes. The Yankees are in. The rumor du jour is six years, $155 million. Can the Giants top it? Will they? Someone with knowledge of the organization's thinking about a source close to Lincecum says that the Giants are willing to come over the top. Seven years, $180 million. Chaos. Looting. Horrible Barry Zito jokes.
Then after all of that, the announcement is made: Tim Lincecum signs. Two years, $40.5 million. Imagine how giddy you'd be. Imagine how reasonable that would seem, what little risk there would be. It would seem like a coup.
Whether Timmy takes the money and runs is irrelevant now, what's important is that the Giants retained one of the most talented players in baseball, which is really all the fans could ask for right now. Nevertheless, imagining a future without him is more than a bit unnerving.
For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.