Tim Lincecum is widely regarded as one of the best pitchers in baseball. He played a huge role in winning the World Series last season and finding an ace of his caliber is a rarity.
That being said, he is headed for what is likely to be a record-breaking deal when he is up for an extension. We could easily be talking $25 million and beyond.
When you look at his hardware, multiple Cy Youngs, three All-Star selections and a World Series trophy before the age of 27, saying he warrants the largest pitching contract of all time might not be too big of a stretch of the imagination.
The Giants will either face a monster contract or elect to make the Bay Area cringe by dealing Lincecum while his stock is sky high.
Lincecum is not built for the long hall. He throws much faster than his 177-pound frame should allow him to. It is a cause for concern if the Giants want to invest C.C. Sabathia money into "The Freak."
Lincecum could see a fate similar to Sabathia. The Indians were in a similar situation to the Giants' predicament. Rather than hang on to Sabathia until they were faced with cutting bate or paying up, they dealt him to the Brewers for four up and comers.
The Brewers only saw Sabathia on roster for a portion of the 2008 season, before the Yankees threw $161 million dollars at him.
Somebody is going to pay up for Lincecum when the time comes. Rather than risk losing Lincecum with zero compensation, the Giants should deal him, rather than re-sign him. Striking while the iron is hottest is key here.
That is not to say the Giants should not let him finish out this season, but they should certainly think about listening to offers. It could work out for both parties well. The Giants don't have to give up an arm and a leg to have Lincecum, and Lincecum can swim comfortably in his $170 million-plus deal.