Eager to avoid arbitration, the San Francisco Giants have made an offer to ace Tim Lincecum.

Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports is reporting via Twitter that the Giants have made a two-year offer to Lincecum worth $40 million. 

Lincecum is a two-time Cy Young Award winner (2008, 2009) and is controlled by the Giants through the 2013 season. 


What it means?

From the perspective of whether or not Lincecum is a Giant for the next two years, this means very little. But from the perspective of not having an arbitrator determine how much the Giants pay, this is big for the Giants. 

Brown is right in that the $4 million dollar gap can be resolved. But even if the Giants take the counter offer from the Lincecum side, San will now be in a better position to try to lock up fellow ace Matt Cain, who will be a free agent after the 2012 season. 

Either of the contracts would be massive, especially for a pitcher, but Lincecum has shown himself worthy of it. His two Cy Young Awards make him the face of the franchise, he has a career record of 69-41, and was integral in bringing the franchise the 2010 World Series. 

Whether Lincecum takes the Giants offer, they take his, or the two agree to something in between, it’s a good fit for both sides. Lincecum will certainly be handsomely rewarded, and money will be clear for the Giants to not only lock Cain up, but to also potentially bring in other players.


What’s next?

From both perspectives, it would be best to get this thing locked up and not go to arbitration. If they can’t, then an arbitrator will determine Lincecum’s 2012 contract, as well as his 2013 deal if the two sides can’t agree to something. 

While Lincecum is the face of the franchise, his production has dropped in recent years. The numbers tell that story.

  W-L    ERA    K   
2008    18-5 2.62 265  
2009 15-7 2.48 261
2010 16-10 3.43 231
2011 13-14 2.74 220

The strikeouts are the most alarming, as they coincide with a drop in velocity. While only is only 27, his small stature will keep him from sustaining such dominant power numbers.

What all of that means is that if he has even a slight drop in 2012, his arbitration number in 2013 will go down. So from a financial perspective, avoiding arbitration would best serve the Giants in 2012, and Lincecum in 2013. 

The good thing for both sides is that the gap between the two sides is not at all alarming. There is no reason to believe that they won’t work together and get this thing done soon.


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