Time to Trade Tim Lincecum?
There were no shortage of nicknames for the two-time Cy-Young Award winner throughout his first three seasons with the San Francisco Giants. His long hair turned him into a local icon, seen almost everywhere in downtown San Francisco on multiple billboards. Every fifth game, Tim's turn in the rotation, is dubbed 'Lincecum Day', because it is perceived to be a joyous, victorious occasion. To this day, Lincecum Day exists, even though his confidence is shaken and his dominance is no longer there.
He pitched today in Chicago vs. the Cubs, boasting a 2-0 record entering the matchup, however, those two wins were on the heels of very erratic performances for Lincecum where he walked more batters than he fanned, continuing the trend from a year prior where his ERA was north of 5.00.
So the question is, what do the Giants do with Lincecum? The once impressive flamethrower has seen a drop-off in velocity and consistency over the last two seasons and it doesn't seem as though he has made the necessary adjustments for the change in his stuff.
Timmy is in the last year of his 2-year $43 million deal with the Giants, a contract that is paying him more for his previous accomplishments than his current productivity. The Washington state native is rumored to want to complete his major league career closer to home where the microscope on his personal life would most likely shrink to an almost non-existant level. He has never been one to fully embrace the limelight, he doesn't enjoy the public eye - and who's to blame him?
Under public scrutiny, your every move is dissected in 10 different ways never though imaginable. He might be growing tired of the constant attention. He already cut his famed hair prior to this season, perhaps to shed his most noticeable trait and become less of a celebrity. Either way, his pitching is no longer up to standards, and the Giants pride themselves on being one of the top performing and consistent rotations in baseball.
Can he turn it around this season and show the glimpses of brilliance he flashed in the postseason on their way to the World Series last season? Or will he continue to crumble and struggle with his location, speed and velocity for the remainder of the season?
Will the Giants explore a trade or will they continue to stick it out with the talented freak? Only time will tell - but what would be the right move? If they could get a heavy bat for Tim, would it not be worth the risk?