According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayarea.com, Giants right hander Tim Lincecum is expected to test the open market. There were reports earlier this month that Lincecum and the Giants were working on a potential extension, but Baggarly notes that those talks have stalled:
The Giants have presented a two-year structure to Lincecum but talks haven’t progressed; assuming nothing gets done before the end of the World Series, the Giants plans to make him a qualifying offer (one year, almost $14 million) that would set them up to receive draft-pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.
It’s not specified how much money the Giants offered Lincecum, and it’s not clear whether the two year offer they presented to him is guaranteed.
If the Giants do indeed give Lincecum a $14.1 million qualifying offer, it may scare off teams whose first round pick isn’t protected. The Mets aren’t one of those teams.
Lincecum, 29, just completed a two year, $40.5 million dollar deal. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball from 2008 through 2011, but struggled in both 2012 and 2013, posting ERA’s of 5.18 and 4.37 respectively. Lincecum’s diminished numbers were accompanied by diminished velocity (both his fastball and slider are down a few ticks from his 2008-2011 peak).
The Mets are in need of a veteran starter with upside who can be relied on to pitch a full season, and Lincecum should be on their short list.
Lincecum should be looking for a short term deal in order to rebuild his value before hitting the market again. If that’s the case, he could be a fit with the Mets. If, on the other hand, he’s searching for a deal in excess of two years guaranteed, the Mets should look elsewhere.