Giants pay Lincecum for past glory

By giving Tim Lincecum a two-year, $35 million contract, the Giants seem to be paying him for the pitcher he used to be during his peak years, not the pitcher he's been in the past two or even three seasons. It's a glorified thank-you gesture, one that might even have come from ownership rather than GM Brian Sabean. Lincecum has been close to replacement-level the past two years, yet the Giants will pay him like he's an average or better starter who's good for 200-plus innings.

He was just barely good enough in 2013 to restore some confusion to his future; after 2012 he seemed like a lock for a transition to relief, but he had stretches this year when he looked like a potential fourth starter in a market where those guys are often paid close to $10 million a year.