The Red Sox [team stats] have cash. The Red Sox need starting pitching. The Red Sox have a major talent in Jacoby Ellsbury [stats] as trade bait.

Well what do you know? There's a big-money 28-year-old two-time Cy Young Award winner with one year left on his contract who could be available after a rough season.

Sounds like a match made in heaven, right?

If only the case of Tim Lincecum were that simple.

With the Red Sox looking to beef up their starting rotation, Lincecum represents an intriguing possibility. The Giants' four-time All-Star struck out five of the seven Tigers he faced during a perfect relief outing in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday. He's otherwise coming off a wretched season.

Lincecum posted career-worsts across the board, going 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA and 190 strikeouts in 33 starts covering just 186 innings. That's a far cry from his previous four years, when he averaged 16-9 with a 2.81 ERA and 244 Ks in 220 innings.

That makes him much like fellow underachiever Ellsbury, who followed an MVP-caliber 2011 with an injury-riddled 2012.

Lincecum awaits $22 million in the final year of a contract designed to buy out his arbitration years, and whereas seven months ago he was untouchable, now the Giants would at least have to entertain offers, even if they win another title.