And Lincecum may indeed hit the free-agent market, as was also suggested.
However, a conclusion widely drawn elsewhere that he's going to try for a longer deal elsewhere is only someone's guess. And apparently an incorrect guess, as well.
While it's possible Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young winner and two-time World Champion with the Giants, could end up elsewhere and maybe even with a longer deal, people familiar with the team's negotiations suggest the pitcher seemed more interested in a short deal in his dealings with the Giants, for either one or two years.
That wouldn't be inconsistent with how Lincecum has handled things in the past, turning down longer deals for shorter ones. He is said to have a belief that he's on the verge of regaining his past form, and unusually interested in short deals at this time, a la Roger Clemens (the Clemens at the end of his career, anyway).
Lincecum was 10-14 with a 4.37 ERA this past season but his secondary numbers and some virtuoso performances (including the 148-pitch no-hitter) are hints he could get back to somewhere close to where he was.
The hometown Mariners (Lincecum was born in Bellevue and went to the University of Washington) could be a player for Lincecum, as they seek one more veteran starter to round out a rotation that will be headed by stars Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma and they hope youngsters Taijuan Walker and James Paxton. Comcast also reported Seattle scouted him late in the year.
The Dodgers and Angels are two more teams that could possibly have interest in Lincecum, who made $22 million this year in the second year of a two-year, $40.5-million deal, a deal that for him was a long deal.