On the surface, it might seem like unsettling news that Giants ace Tim Lincecum is only open to returning on a short contract, but in reality it might be best for both parties.
Lincecum told the Chronicle yesterday that he isn’t interested in a long term contract that would buy out his future free agent years:
"Contract talks with Tim Lincecum might be Job One for the Giants this winter, and though Lincecum said he would listen to whatever the team has to say, he told The Chronicle on Thursday he is not keen on locking himself into a long-term deal that would buy out future free-agent years.In one bit of good news for Freak fans, Lincecum said his criminal lack of run support in San Francisco will not factor into his thinking.“I don’t think it has to do with the offense,” Lincecum said when told that San Francisco fans fear he and Matt Cain will bolt to teams that score more runs. Cain can file for free agency after next season.“I just don’t know how I’m going to feel five years from now, or three years. That’s why I’d kind of like to take things step by step and why I liked the deal I got last year.”"
No matter the greatness of the player, there’s always a significant risk when locking yourself into a long term deal (for both franchise and player), despite the letters on the back nameplate. The risk only escalates when it’s a pitcher.
Many media personalities like to speculate and stir up drama that isn’t there, so I’m sure you’ll be bombarded with Lincecum to Yankee rumors ad nauseam – but Lincecum isn’t going to get himself stuck in a bad situation by signing a six, seven, even ten year deal. I honestly can’t blame him – I’d be playing on two or three year contracts if I was him too.
Timmy isn’t the type of guy to bolt for a Boston or New York. If anything, he’d avoid it as the limelight is something he strays far away from. One day, far down the road, you might see a mid 30-year old Lincecum lace up cleats for his hometown Mariners to play out the final years of his career, but don’t let what will become absurd rumors bring you down. Lincecum’s not going anyplace anytime soon, assuming the Giants continue to run their organization the proper way – he’s just not getting trapped in a non-needed situation, like most logical people.