Thoughts on The Freak
By Stuart Jones
By now you know that the Giants avoided going to salary arbitration court (which, if it were a court show, would be a much better show than all the other court shows COMBINED, as I remember seeing discussed over the Tweeter) by agreeing with Timmy on a 2 year deal. We know he’ll get $18.5MM in 2012 ($500K from a signing bonus) and $22MM in 2013 (making him the highest paid Giant on the roster that year). I think this is a fair deal and is probably pretty close to what he would’ve made in arbitration year-to-year. Here’s what I say to Timmy for his 2012-2013 seasons: make ’em good, big boy, because if this front office continues to dawdle in getting a bat, you’ll get your money, but it probably won’t be from a team in San Francisco. It’s not because SF won’t give him the money, it’s because he’ll be so sick of not getting any run support, he’ll bolt to somewhere that will make him happier. And why not? I know W-L are not the perfect stats but at the end of the day these guys still look at them. Being 13-14 with an ERA at 2.74 can probably get in your head, and if Timmy sees 2 more years of that, why should he stay? Would you?
If you’ve followed Tim’s numbers over the past 3 years, you know that the insane level of honeymoon-period is over. Has he peaked already? Possibly. Why don’t I show you what I mean on this little chart I made:
2010’s numbers do not include the postseason. If they did, it would make it probably more amazing. 2008 and 2009 were ridiculous. I can’t believe we had that guy on our team. I also think he’s still our #1 pitcher and definitely could hold that title in 2013 vs. Cain and MadBum, but his K/9 have gone down as control issues helped is BB/9 hit a career high last year in a full season (I don’t consider 2007 a “full season” for him where his BB/9 was at 4). Sure, he doesn’t get injured, and yea his ERA last year probably should’ve got him more Cy Young consideration, but that FIP — Fielding Independent Pitching — while still pretty good, has me a little worried that he’s digressing. Maybe I’m paranoid that the league has caught on to him, or that he’s just not as electric as he used to be and I am blowing this out of proportion, but unless he proves otherwise in 2012 and 2013, I’m gonna worry a little bit about TL55.
Changing the subject a bit…
Understand that the Giants roster situation isn’t so cut and dry that only one between Tim Lincecum and Matthew Thomas Cain can stay post-2012. On the contrary, both can stay if they Giants really want them to and can still keep payroll under $130MM if that number stays the same. You might have $45-50MM wrapped up in 2 pitchers, but you can still get 23 other guys for under $80MM. I guarantee it. You can get an updated look at this year’s roster situation here at Crazy Crabbers and in keeping my own books we’re pretty much on the same page.