news out of San Francisco that Giants pitcher, Tim Lincecum, has decided he will test the free agent market in hopes of a short term deal that will allow him to rebuild his overall value. This is interesting...
At only 29 years old, Lincecum is well decorated. He has a pair of Cy Young Awards, as well as three years where he has won at least fifteen games. The problem is he is now three years removed from those glorious times. The other knock on Lincecum is his mechanics, which you are probably familiar with. They are awkward..and that means they are not consistent and deserve at least partial blame for back to back ten win seasons.
The issue becomes that Lincecum is likely better than his numbers the last few years would indicate. Likely the reasoning behind seeking a short term deal, but at what price?
The Mets' front office has stated that they will seek starting pitching this winter from outside the organization. Lincecum should at a minimum land on the teams radar for two reasons. First and foremost, he is seeking a short term deal. Secondly, the Mets have a short term need. However, there are certainly detractors.
The Mets are rumored to covet a veteran starting pitching to not only eat innings, but also serve a mentor of sorts. Tim Lincecum probably doesn't satisfy either of those criteria. Furthermore, Lincecum, whether he is looking to rebuild his value or not, will not come cheap. Coming off of a 2013 season that saw him make $22 million dollars, even a modest pay cut sees Lincecum make upwards of $15 million dollars next season. I'm not sure that leaves him in the Mets price range and I'm not sure they should spend $15 million on a player who has not only struggled, but who has been known to have character issues.
If the Mets were operating with a blank check book, I think I would be all in on Lincecum on a short term deal. In a vacuum, a short term deal for a pitcher of his abilities is a no-brainer. However they aren't operating in said vacuum and still don't have that aforementioned blank check. While I acknowledge that there is a need within the starting rotation, this team's major void has been offense for years now. I'd rather see the money invested in the every day line up.
Lincecum is a premiere talent, but certainly a risky one. For an organization that just dropped $30 million on a former ace who didn't throw a pitch last year, I'm skeptical they would bring in another former ace who may have more financial risk than on-field upside. Is it better to dish out two years/$30 million to Tim Lincecum or 2 years/$20 million to a Bronson Arroyo type? If the price is right I say go for it, but do not sacrifice the offense yet again because that should be the Mets number one priority this winter.