SAN FRANCISCO — Hunter Pence was preparing to sign a five-year, $90 million deal Sunday after passing a physical. Having locked up their right fielder, the Giants are ready to move on to their famous right-hander, Tim Lincecum.
Assistant general manager Bobby Evans said the Giants have already begun negotiations with Lincecum's agent, Rick Thurman. Thurman also represents Pence, making for an easy transition.
"Hopefully there's an opportunity to bring Timmy back in short order," Evans said. "That's our hope. We don't intend to wait. If Timmy is willing to work with us right now, we'd like to do that. That's the impression I'm getting, that they'd like to work with us."
Lincecum is headed for free agency for the first time and said Saturday that he was in no rush to sign a new deal.
"I'll make that decision when the time comes," Lincecum said.
Pence wanted to make the decision before the end of the season, allowing the Giants to announce the new deal before the final game. But Lincecum's situation will be more complicated. While there were obvious comps for Pence — including Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier — Lincecum is a unique case. He is a two-time Cy Young Award winner who is still adjusting to a new repertoire and preparation process, but the Giants have been pleased with Lincecum's performance this season. Manager Bruce Bochy said earlier this week that he believes Lincecum has pitched much better than his 4.37 ERA, an assertion backed up by advanced metrics.
Lincecum said the Pence deal would not alter his view on free agency.
"Most decisions people make at this point are personal decisions," he said. "I've still got to think about it. It's not a pressing thing for me."
For the Giants, it could be. They intend to add at least one more starter, regardless of Lincecum's decision, and also would like to sign a new left fielder and bolster the bench. There's only so much money to go around.
"Brian (Sabean) set our priorities from day one," Evans said. "Lincecum is next on our list."