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Don't expect to see Tim Lincecum in a Giants uniform next season.

He has been a favorite in San Francisco — fans love him — but he is almost surely gone, as in out of here.

The Giants will make him a lowball offer. Think $8 million. It is not lowball to you and me, but to a two-time Cy Young guy it's pocket change. The Giants frankly hope he doesn't take the $8 million. They would like him to move on.

Some teams are interested in Lincecum and will pay him more than the Giants. The Mariners, who play in his hometown, see him as an attraction. The Rangers and Detroit inquired about him during the waiver period. Expect the Rangers to keep inquiring. The Red Sox would be interested in Lincecum, but get this, as a reliever.

What do all the interested teams have in common?

They are in the American League.

Why are American League teams more interested in Lincecum than National League teams?

Because Lincecum is an American League pitcher pitching in the National League. That's what he has become.

The prototype of a National League pitcher is a guy who throws extreme heat — something Lincecum used to do. The stereotype of an American League pitcher is someone who throws off-speed stuff. That's what Lincecum does now. The Giants are down on his velocity and know he never will get it back. They notice he relies on the changeup and slider and can't overpower batters anymore. The Giants believe he is incapable of being who he used to be.

Ryan Vogelsong will not return next season. If he does, it will be shocking. This is a nice man with a fairytale story, but he is 36 — too old — and he has not regained his velocity after coming back from injury. He has not shown enough to the Giants' decision makers. The Giants can buy him out for $300,000. To keep him, they would have to pay him a $6.5 million club option. They will buy him out.

Barry Zito is history in San Francisco. That's obvious. The Giants will buy him out at $7 million instead of picking up his option for $18 million. Was this the worst contract in the entire history of contracts? But Zito is not necessarily history in the majors. As wacky as this seems, expect an American League team to invite him to spring training for a look-see.

The Giants' core starting pitchers next season are Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain. No brainer. If Lincecum stays, they will need a fourth and a fifth starter. They most likely will need a third, fourth and fifth because Lincecum won't stay.

They like Yusmeiro Petit as a starter and are intrigued by Chad Gaudin, who could be a starter or long reliever. Both come cheap.

They will test the market for additional starters. They like Bronson Arroyo, who recently said he left his heart in San Francisco. This could be a match made in heaven — well, made on the new span of the Bay Bridge. He is 36 but he's still a good pitcher, a better investment than Vogelsong.

The Giants like Ricky Nolasco but expect the Dodgers, with all that money, to re-sign him.

In the bullpen, the Giants will keep Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo, and they will work hard to re-sign Javier Lopez. Some of the younger guys are in trouble. That includes Jose Mijares, Sandy Rosario and Jean Machi. The Giants will want older, more experienced arms in the pen. And they are not impressed by their young minor-league pitchers. The Giants brought several up this season, observed them and were underwhelmed.

What about the lineup?

Here goes.

Buster Posey is the starting catcher. Duh.

The No. 2 catcher will be Hector Sanchez. The Giants want him in better shape. He will not play winter ball. Instead, he'll go on a workout and diet regimen.

Brandon Belt, who finally is realizing his promise, is the first baseman. Posey will play some first along with Brett Pill, maybe.

The Giants like second baseman Marco Scutaro, signed through 2015. They like his demeanor and his leadership. They just plain like him, but no longer as the exclusive starter. They will look for an established guy to play along with Scutaro on a platoon basis. The Giants no longer see Scutaro as an everyday second baseman.

Brandon Crawford is the shortstop.

Pablo Sandoval is the third baseman. The Giants want him to get in shape and stay in shape. Next season is his free-agent year and the Giants believe that will motivate Sandoval to slim down and comport himself like a world-class athlete.

The Giants like Angel Pagan in center.

They like Gregor Blanco in left but do not consider him a starter. They will go after a power-hitting left fielder via trade or free agency.

The Giants are committed to re-signing Hunter Pence, if they can. They know Texas and Boston sniffed around Pence during the waiver period. The Giants will offer him a three-year deal or two years with an option year. The rate would be between $15 million and $17 million per season.

They like the Reds' Shin-Soo Choo but think he will get multiple offers. The big money they are willing to pay Pence could limit their ability to pay Choo.

OK, what does this all mean?

It means the Giants have been a pitching team first. It means they want to retain that identity by, most of all, improving their pitching staff. It means they want to contend with the Dodgers, if possible. Dodgers-Giants, let the rivalry live.