EXTRA BAGGS: Long drive for Bumgarner, but no contract drive (yet)

EXTRA BAGGS: Long drive for Bumgarner, but no contract drive (yet)
February 20, 2012, 2:39 am
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Madison Bumgarner said the Giants havent approached him yet on his contract for this season.

But Im told the Giants would have interest in doing a multiyear deal with Bumgarner, which would provide some cost certainty through his arbitration years.

That cost certainty will be extremely important to determine what the Giants budget will be in the next few seasons. And that will be extremely important soon, when Tim Lincecums long-term future will become a topic again. The club will need to know how much they can afford to commit and still be able to field a team around him.

Bumgarner and Buster Posey are among the players with less than three years of service time. Players in this group can be assigned any salary above the league minimum. The deadline to complete this process is usually in early March.

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Bumgarner drove to spring training from his place in North Carolina, with his brother-in-law along for company. They did not make it a leisurely trip.

Two days, 35 hours you think its not that much fun, but we had a good time, he said.

They stopped one night in Weatherford, Okla., and the town was true to its name.

It was blowing snow the whole time, Bumgarner said. Going 35 the whole way through the panhandle

Yep, a good time was had by all.

-- Tim Lincecum threw fastballs and changeups in his bullpen session with Buster Posey. It was the third time Lincecum threw to Posey since they traveled to Arizona shortly after FanFest earlier this month.

We picked up where we left off, Lincecum said.

And thats good, since Lincecums last start with Posey was a three-hit shutout May 21 against the As.

Lincecum told a funny story about that start. He said he didnt feel he had the movement or location he wanted, but Posey kept encouraging him to trust his stuff. That faith made a difference.

I remember him after the last pitch, strike three, he gives me the ball, Lincecum said. And he said, Why arent you excited? I said I was still pissed because my stuff wasnt that good.

And pairing up together again Sunday? Its like having the old Posey back, Lincecum said.

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During Lincecums session with reporters, someone mentioned that Jamie Moyer, all of 49 years young, signed with the Colorado Rockies. That bit of news had slipped past Lincecum this offseason.

Holy moly, he said.

Moyer was among the Mariners players that Lincecum, a Seattle-area native, enjoyed watching as a kid.

Could Lincecum envision pitching in the big leagues at 49?

Ha ha ha! Lincecum said. No.

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John Bowker will forever be the answer to two trivia questions. The first: Who is the first Giant to homer in each of his first two big league games? (Bowker beat Brett Pill to it by three years.) The other: Who was the starting right fielder on opening day for the 2010 World Series champions?

OK, so Bowker didnt hold that job for long. But he absolutely made a contribution to the Giants title run. He went to Pittsburgh in what turned out to be a vitally important trade for left-hander Javier Lopez.

Bowker later ended up in Philly, and now hes back in a Giants uniform: A Tokyo Yomiuri Giants uniform, to be precise. Bowker signed with the Japanese League club earlier this month.