Why the Giants Should Trade Tim Lincecum


Sep 1, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder David DeJesus (9) rounds third base in the background during his 2 run home run with San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) looking on during the third inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Tim Lincecum beat the Rockies yesterday. He struck out eight and walked four. His season stats ( 9-14, 5.09 ERA, 177 strikeouts ) say he’d be a hell of a number five, but he’s getting paid to be a number one. If this is already sounding fimilar, just replace “Tim Lincecum” with “Barry Zito” and it all starts making more sense. The difference between Zito and Lincecum, however, is that Timmy the Kid still has trade value, both because of his history and because of how well he’s played since the trade deadline. At the end of this season, Lincecum will have one year and roughly 20 million due to him, and the Giants will have holes at second, left field, and center. To make things worse, San Francisco will still look like a team with very little power, and as beautiful as AT&T is, they will have to overpay just to get hitters to consider them. The Giants have no problem getting pitchers who need a rebound park to join them on the cheap. Besides, Brain Sabean’s biggest strength is finding diamonds in the rough. All of this adds up to one rather inconvenient truth: the Giants have to start preparing for the post-Lincecum era now. As I looked around the league, I saw three trades that would benefit the Giants, their trade partner, and Tim:

1-Giants trade Tim Lincecum, Brett Pill, and Francisco Peguero

Cleveland Indians trade Chris Perez and Shin-Soo Choo

This trade would give the Giants a back-up closer if Brian Wilson isn’t ready to go (or if SF trades him), as well as an all around player to take over in left who’s good at everything but not great at anything — think Hunter Pence 2.0.

The Indians would get some star power that might finally get some butts in the seats with Lincecum, a nice bat at first in Pill, and an outfielder they could try to groom. Perhaps the biggest reason that Cleveland would make this move, however, would be to get rid of Perez and his mouth.

2- Giants trade Tim Lincecum

3- Red Sox trade Jacoby Ellsbury

For the Giants, this trade would give them a leadoff hitter with some power who can play left or center. It would also soften the initial popular backlash from trading Lincecum, since Ellsbury is a star in his own right.

The Red Sox know they have work to do, but lucky for them they have lots of cash. They are one of the few teams that could afford to sign Timmy long term. If they were able to trade for Lincecum and sign Josh Hamiliton, then perhaps it wouldn’t be too long before Boston fans stopped looking at the team with disgust.

3- Giants trade Tim Lincecum

Tigers trade Nick Castellanos and Adam Wilk

This is the long shot trade that I only include in case the Tigers miss the playoffs. For the Giants, Castellanos would become their best prospect and make a Pablo Sandoval trade very likely. The King Fu Panda’s stock is trading low with Giants staff and fans alike right now, so it might not be a bad time to cut the chord with Sandoval. Plus, Wilk could step in as their best starting pitching prospect and might eventually replace Lincecum in the rotation.

If the Tigers fail to make the playoffs this year, all bets will be off. They’ll want to make a big splash in the offseason — Prince Fielder big. Castellanos is currently blocked at the major league level by Miguel Cabrera, Fielder, and Victor Martinez, so it’s likely that he’ll be traded anyway. But making a move that would add Lincecum behind Verlander would satisfy a disappointed fanbase and give them a big boost of momentum going into the 2013 season.