Lincecum, Pence, Lopez all claimed but all expected to stay in SF

Giants stars Tim Lincecum, Hunter Pence and Javier Lopez all went on waivers Saturday, and all were quickly claimed by teams. However, "none of them are going anywhere," according to someone familiar with the situation.

While the Giants technically could still trade any of the players, it appears that either the claiming teams were doing so in order to block trades, the Giants had little or no real interest in trading any of the three players, or both.

The Giants could save close to $8 million by trading or letting go the three free agents to be, but there's reason to believe the team was never that anxious to trade three of the players who helped them win World Series titles (Lincecum and Lopez were part of two titles, Pence one). With Lincecum and Pence, the Giants has extra reason to keep them; they have said they'll make qualifying offers, meaning they'd have the opportunity to pick up coveted draft choices if those players should sign elsewhere.

The Giants also may have interest in keeping all three players beyond this year -- though a trade wouldn't necessarily preclude that possibility.

While Linceum is seen as overpaid at $22 million for 2012, it isn't shocking that with just $4.2 million to go he'd be claimed on waivers. Pence, who makes $13.8 million, and Lopez ($4.25 million) were sure to be claimed all along.

Lincecum, 7-13 with a 4.55 ERA, is "better than a 4.5 ERA pitcher," one rival executive said. He's also seen as someone who could help teams as either starter or reliever. Pence is hitting ,279 with 15 home runs and 64 RBI. Lopez is 2-2 with a 1.99 ERA.

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