The San Francisco Giants could not come to terms on a two-year contract with right-hander Tim Lincecum, so the two-time Cy Young Award winner plans to test the free agent market, according to CSN Bay Area.
Lincecum can become a free agent five days after the World Series concludes.
The Giants’ next step is to make Lincecum a qualifying offer, which is one year at roughly $14 million. That allows them to receive an extra draft pick as compensation if he signs with another team.
Lincecum may be interested in pitching for his hometown Seattle Mariners, who have a protected first-round draft pick. A Mariners scout reportedly followed Lincecum during the Giants’ last homestand of the season.
The Giants focused on Lincecum after re-signing outfielder Hunter Pence to a five-year, $90 million extension to prevent him from going to free agency. They also want to re-sign left-handed reliever Javier Lopez.
To free up money, they may decline right-hander Ryan Vogelsong’s $6.5 million option or renegotiate a new contract with a lower guaranteed salary.
YANKS SET TO SPEND
The New York Yankees are ready to break the bank with a $300 million off-season shopping spree, according to ESPN New York.
The Yankees have stated their intentions to cut their current payroll to $189 million while going after big-money free agents who are set to enter the market.
According to the report, the Yankees’ targets include St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran, Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann, Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka and their own Robinson Cano, who reportedly has been asking for a 10-year, $300 million deal.
This isn’t the first time the Yankees have talked about dropping these numbers on just a handful of players. Heading into the 2009 season, New York spent more than $400 million on multi-year deals for CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett.
The Yankees are waiting to see if Alex Rodriguez’s 211-game suspension will be upheld by Major League Baseball.
If it is, the Yankees won’t be on the hook for the $25 million he’s owed in 2014.
SOX GET ABREU
The Chicago White Sox agreed to a six-year, $68 million contract with Cuban free-agent first baseman Jose Abreu Friday, according to multiple reports.
It is the largest initial free-agent contract ever given to an international player.
It is also considered a risky move by the White Sox because Abreu is relatively unknown. However, Abreu does have an even better track record in Cuba than the Oakland A’s Yoenis Cespedes and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig.
Abreu batted .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBIs in 63 games during the 2010-11 Cuban season, while missing time with a shoulder injury. The previous season, he batted .399 with 30 home runs and 76 RBIs.
Abreu, 26, defected from his home country this summer.
He is expected to take over as the White Sox first baseman. Paul Konerko is a free agent and was scheduled to discuss his future with general manager Rick Hahn.
To afford Abreu, the White Sox shed about $40 million from their payroll, which included trading right-hander Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox and sending outfielder Alex Rios to the Texas Rangers
Several teams were interested in Abreu, including the Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants.
GRAY UNDERGOES SURGERY
Oakland Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray had surgery on his left thumb Thursday in Cleveland to repair a fracture that he sustained in the postseason.
Dr. Thomas Graham inserted a screw to stabilize the bone during the procedure at Cleveland Clinic Hospital.
Gray was injured when he was hit by a comebacker to the mound off the bat of Detroit’s Prince Fielder during Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Oct. 10.
The rookie is expected to make a full recovery in time for spring training next year.
Gray finished the regular season with a 5-3 record and a 2.67 ERA in 12 games, including 10 starts, for the A’s.
In the ALDS, Gray worked eight scoreless innings in a Game 2 duel with Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander but did not pick up a decision.
Former first-round draft pick Taylor Guerrieri was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance, MLB announced Friday.
Guerrieri, a top-100 prospect selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, pitched for Class A Bowling Green in the Midwest League this season before he sustained an elbow injury that will require reconstructive surgery.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that the suspension was a second violation for what is believed to be marijuana use.
The 20-year-old Guerrieri, who received a $1.6 million signing bonus as the 24th overall pick in 2011, will begin serving the suspension at the start of next season, but it’s unlikely he will pitch after undergoing the Tommy John procedure.
In 67 innings over 14 starts in Class A this year, Guerrieri posted a 6-2 record with a 2.01 ERA.