It came down to the last minute this morning, but Tim Lincecum and the Giants finally agreed on a two-year deal worth $23m that will keep the sides from having to go to arbitration each of the next two seasons. And this news has made Giants fans both pleased and relieved, as the Lincecum/arbitration story was a dark cloud over their entire offseason.
Jon Heyman at SI has contract details:
Lincecum gets a $2 million signing bonus, $8 million this year, $13 million in 2011 and the chance to earn performance and award bonuses. The agreement is subject to a physical.
In addition to his salary, he would earn $200,000 for pitching 225 innings, a figure he reached in each of his two full seasons. He would get $500,000 for each Cy Young Award, $250,000 for second, $100,000 for third, $75,000 for fourth and $50,000 for fifth. He also would get $100,000 each time he's an All-Star, $100,000 for NL MVP, $75,000 for World Series MVP and $50,000 for league championship series MVP.
In the end, the two sides compromised - the Giants offered a two-year deal worth $21m, Lincecum's side countered with a two-year deal worth $25m, and the final $23m figure is right in the middle. The incentives are attainable, but not as significant as the base salary and bonus, which won't give Lincecum what he was seeking in arbitration, but will still reward him handsomely. A $5m raise in 2011 is roughly what one would expect from the arbitration process, and though Lincecum might've been able to make more next year given another stellar and healthy season, signing now gives him some security, which always carries a cost.
Perhaps the most amazing part of this whole saga comes up in a Heyman Tweet:
lincecum, giants got right to the door for the 9:30 am hearing when they settled.
It doesn't get any closer than that.
So, Lincecum is under contract for two years and under club control for four. The specter of arbitration in 2012 and 2013 looms, but this deal gives both sides plenty of time to hammer out a long-term extension, a concept to which both Lincecum and the Giants appear open.