World Series: Is Tim Lincecum the Giants' Top Reliever for 2013?
Although teams don’t readily admit to it, each game towards the end of the season is most certainly an audition for job security—for most players; the World Series, especially, serves as the pressure-filled situation that can either see a player handle it, or not.
The Giants are not about to buck that trend; if you take one look at the playoffs, thus far, there is one shining-player—not named Scutaro—that is causing positional-value for 2013.
Is Tim Lincecum the sturdy right arm coming out of the bullpen in 2013?
It's not the biggest stretch of the imagination to see this scenario happening. After all, his performance in the playoffs basically has revived a questionable—possibly even dead—career; in that same idea, he did not do so well as a starter.
If Lincecum does move into the organization’s game plan for 2013, it will free up cash needed in other areas—areas that will make the team better than they were in 2012.
Take a look at what can happen.
Scutaro might be a difficult sign for next year. His playoff success, plus the media coverage of it, has landed the second baseman in a pretty good negotiating stance for 2013.
If Lincecum is moved to the pen, the Giants will have the ability to free up cash by moving or not resigning other relievers. That cash could very well go towards giving Scutaro the needed chunk to make him stay in San Francisco.
Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson
Regardless of the "Romo Bombing" in the playoffs—along with his great pitching—Romo will quickly be moved to the setup-role once Wilson comes back next year.
What a great situation to have.
Now, if you add in Lincecum to that mix, the Giants' relief is theoretically set. Yes, that is three righties, but with that amount of fire power, spreading over four to even five innings, trimming the pen and only keeping other necessary pieces becomes easy.
Jeremy Affeldt can be re-signed, adding the lefty arm with Jose Mijeras, too, and solidifying a very scary bullpen in 2013.
Free Agent Starter
The obvious of losing Lincecum to the pen means the Giants are down one starter. However, starting pitching is something they will need to focus on next season, regardless, so why not start at the beginning of the year?
Much like Lincecum, Barry Zito has been a hopeful blessing in the playoffs, leaving him in he rotation next season. With that in mind, the Giants—with cash at hand, and a World Series Ring as an enticer—can hit the market for a right-handed starter.
Possibilities for the role?
Zack Greinke will be the top hurler on the market, but he will also be the priciest. As is the norm for that type of deal, Greinke will be looking for the biggest deal, not necessarily the best team. The Giants can make an offer but there are better fits out there.
Jake Peavy did well on the west coast for many years with the Padres; maybe revisiting California to end his career with a one to two-year deal would be perfect. If he can keep his stuff, sharp, and still sinking (which is always needed in hitters-park) the deal may fit, perfectly.
“If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.”
Kyle Lohse would also be another perfect fit; because he is not a true ace, his price tag may not be as high as other free agents. The Giants saw him, in-person, in the playoffs perhaps giving them the mind-set of remembering Lohse once the deals start circling.
Will any of these options work? Who knows? It's like predicting the 2014 Super Bowl.
However, all these possibilities can happen if Tim Lincecum is in the pen to start 2013.