February 2010

Wellemeyer will compete for job

As players began to report to Arizona for spring training, Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated Tuesday that non-roster invitee Todd Wellemeyer will be allowed with 20-year-old Madison Bumgarner and others for the team’s No. 5 rotation spot.

“It makes it more competitive when you sign a guy like Wellemeyer, I
think it’s fair to say. There are no givens here,” Bochy told the Associated Press. “We think
a lot of Madison, but you always want depth. It is always good to have
competition.”

Hmmm, perhaps Bochy was reading posts on moresplashhits.

Lincecum, Giants finalize deal

The Giants and star pitcher Tim Lincecum finalized a two-year, $23 million contract on Tuesday, completing a deal that was agreed upon last Friday prior to Lincecum’s arbitration hearing.

Lincecum will received a $2 million signing bonus, half due now, half due March of next year. So essentially, he’ll get $9 million in 2010 and $14 million in 2011.

The deal is good for both sides. It gives Lincecum some security, which is what you want in your first multi-million contract. It gives the Giants some time to access where they want to go in the future, some time to establish that Lincecum can be a durable performer.

Splash Hits expects that if Lincecum has another Cy Young-caliber season — whether he wins it or not — the Giants would be wise to lock up Lincecum through the rest of arbitration seasons and some of his free agency years.

Lincecum, Giants talking 3-year deal

Several reports have said that the Giants have offered a three-year, $37 million deal to pitcher Tim Lincecum as the two-time Cy Young Award winner’s arbitration hearing approaches olincecum.jpgn Friday.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Lincecum’s camp has countered with a deal for more than $40.

Neither side has confirmed those numbers, and the Giants are only saying that talks are “ongoing.”

It is encouraging that the two sides are talking and there’s a good chance this will get resolved. The question is how much more than $40 is the Lincecum camp talking about. But one would have to think the the two sides are now about as far apart on a three-year deal as they were with the one-year deal that will be decided Friday in arbitration.

Giants sign Wellemeyer to minor-league deal

The Giants signed veteran right-hander Todd Wellemeyer to a minor league deal Wednesday and gave him an invitation to spring training.

The Giants have said they are looking at the 31-year-old former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher as a long reliever, but he could be given a chance to compete for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
The Giants have said they would like to fill that spot in the rotation with in-house talent like Joe Martinez, Madison Bumgarner or Kevin Pucetas.
But they would be wise to allow Wellemeyer to at least compete for that spot. Whatever increases the chances that Bumgarner open the season at Fresno.
Bumgarner pitched well for the Giants during his September call-up last year. But the Giants should resist the temptation of rushing the 20-year-old left-hander. He won’t turn 21 until August.
They ran Matt Cain out to the majors at age 20. And while he showed moments of great promise, he also struggled with consistency, finally maturing with an outstanding season last year at age 24.
But the bigger issue could be a lesson learned from Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum was drafted in 2006 and called up to the majors in early May 2007 when Russ Ortiz was injured.
However, had the Giants waited a couple of weeks before calling on Lincecum, he would not have been eligible for arbitration this year. Now, the Giants are looking dead at a potential $13 million windfall for the two-time Cy Young winner through arbitration.
With Barry Zito’s contract running through 2013 and Lincecum potentially being in the arbitration process through 2013 (if he doesn’t sign a long-term deal), wouldn’t it be better for Bumgarner’s first year of arbitration to come in 2014, instead of 2013?
Then, wouldn’t it be better for Bumgarner to open the year in Fresno, with an eye on a midseason callup?

Giants invite pitchers to spring training

Three veteran pitchers have agreed to minor-league deals and received invitations to spring training by the Giants — Horacio Ramirez, Byung-Hyun Kim and Guillermo Mota.

It’s possible one of these three may actually break camp with the big club. It’s been years since Ramirez and Kim have been useful. Mota actually had a productive season for the Dodgers last year. If he can do the same this year, he’ll be a good replacement in the pen for Bob Howry.

Giants, Brian Wilson agree to deal

The Giants signed closer Brian Wilson to a one-year deal for $4,437,500, avoiding arbitration.

No shocker here. The two sides weren’t that far apart. This figure represents the halfway mark between two numbers submitted.

That leaves Tim Lincecum as the Giants’ lone unresolved arbitration case.

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