There have been times in baseball when a popular player signs a new contract to stay with his current team for perhaps less than he can get on the open market.
It is said the player gave his team a "hometown discount."
That doesn't happen much, but it can. If so, is the reverse true? Did the San Francisco Giants' Tim Lincecum get a "hometown increase?"
In other words, did the two-year, $35 million dollar deal Lincecum just signed with the Giants have as much do with his popularity and successful history with the team as it did his recent performance?
Over the last two years, Lincecum, who won Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009, is a combined 20-29 with an ERA of 4.76. Lincecum's 2013 ERA of 4.37 would have ranked fourth on the Orioles behind Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen and Scott Feldman.
That is worth an average value of $17.5 million?
"When they made the push (to sign me),it was hard for me not to respond," Lincecum told reporters. "The relationship kept pushing until it found us sitting here at two years, $35 million, and I'm really, really, really happy about that."
Yeah, I'll bet.
ESPN's Buster Olney posted this on his Twitter account:
"In 2012-13, Lincecum had a 4.76 ERA, and his fastball velo dropped from 92.2 to 90.2. He gets 2/$35m; good guy, but that's a head-scratcher."
Giants president Larry Baer denied the contract was given because of Lincecum's popularity or because of his impact on the team's ticket and merchandise sales.
"This was targeted as a baseball signing because of Tim's performance. ... Hey, Timmy is a very popular guy. I don't want it misinterpreted that this was done because he's popular. It was done because he can excel and get us to where we need to be in the future," Baer said.
What, if anything, will Lincecum's contract mean to free agent deals that pitchers like Matt Garza, Hiroki Kuroda and Ervin Santana will sign?
Will this make it harder for the Orioles in their attempt to re-sign Feldman? In this MLBTradeRumors.com analysis, it was projected that Feldman could get a two-year deal worth $17 million with a vesting option for a third season.
What is your take on the Lincecum deal and its impact on the market this winter? How far should the O's go to re-sign Feldman?