It’s no secret that the San Francisco Giants are nearing a pair of large decisions regarding their franchise’s future. The club has already bought out the final two years of Tim Lincecum’s arbitration eligibility, but the Freak is still set to hit the open market following the 2013 season. Matt Cain, who joins Lincecum atop the Giants rotation, is a year closer to free agency. While both remain without long-term contracts, the Giants said last night that they have the budget to lock up both of their aces.
Last evening, the Giants and their players spoke with the media before today’s annual FanFest. Andrew Baggarlyof The Mercury News provided quotes from several of the players involved in discussions, including Lincecum and Cain.
When asked how extension negotiations were going, Cain responded that “it’s a process”. All that the right-hander would commit to was that he’s “definitely here for this year”.
Beyond that it’s hard to say. Cain is projected to become one of the top free agents starters available next offseason. The 27-year-old sports a career 3.35 ERA and WHIP of 1.196 and has started at least 31 games since his first full season in the bigs.
Cain has made it no secret that he has enjoyed his time in San Francisco, though he was unwilling to commit to offering the Giants a hometown discount. Cain called free agency an “opportunity”, and while he loves being in San Francisco, the right-hander said “it’s hard to say what will happen in these next several months”.
Some have said that San Francisco may have to ultimately decide between Cain and Lincecum, who figures to require an even more significant contract than his counterpart.
However, Giants general manager Brian Sabean shot down this rumor last night, saying that “budget won’t be a factor” when it comes to the two aces. Sabean added that the Giants will “have enough wherewithal in the budget” that they won’t have to pick.
Whether the Giants are able to sign both players, that is something Sabean said he couldn’t predict. San Francisco has seemingly put Lincecum on the back burner and focused its attention on Cain. Baggarly notes that there is still a chance the Giants reach a long-term extension with Cain before pitchers and catchers report on the 18th of February.
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