SBD/October 24, 2013/Franchises

Lincecum Deal Shows MLB Giants' Philosophy Of Spending Big On Fan Favorites

Giants fans have seen Lincecum earn two NL Cy Young Awards in seven seasons
The MLB Giants this week were "using a different kind of economics" than simply analyzing on-field performance when signing P Tim Lincecum a two-year, $35M deal, according to Tim Kawakami of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The Giants "love to pay their stars;" their stars "draw fans, their fans fill AT&T Park ... and that's how the Giants have the cash to overpay their stars." Team execs "probably could have stomached paying Lincecum just about anything as long as it came in a short-term span," and from that "perspective, this deal makes some sense." If the Giants did not have Lincecum, they "would have had to replace him some way," and it is "guaranteed that way wouldn't have electrified the home crowd the way No. 55 does every time he steps on the mound, even during the disappointing" '13 season. Lincecum and RF Hunter Pence, who re-signed with the team last month, are "known, comfortable commodities to the Giants and their fan base, and the Giants paid a double premium for that." Kawakami: "I would guess management also told itself that keeping one of its most iconic stars in house and happy for another few years is never a bad thing." This deal shows that the Giants "have that kind of money" the Dodgers and Yankees do, and "will spend it when the personalities are right" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/24). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said the Lincecum deal "makes no sense," but this is a "business, and if you can put fannies in the seats because they like you, why wouldn't you sign that guy?" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/23). Columnist Kevin Blackistone said, "This guy is as beloved an athlete in San Francisco as anybody" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/23).

ALWAYS MINDFUL OF L.A.: In S.F., John Shea wrote the Giants were "working from a position of desperation to some extent," to keep Lincecum from the Dodgers, who could have targeted Lincecum, "among a cast of thousands, in their pay-at-all-costs bid to win it all" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/23).
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