Recently, Tim Lincecum made a record-high request in arbitration. The Giants made a record-high but lower offer. Those filings, however, did not mean the end of negotiations. The two sides can continue to negotiate, and the two sides have continued to negotiate. How have they negotiated? Let's ask Tim Brown:
Sources: Giants offered Lincecum two-year, $40-million deal. Lincecum reps countered at two and $44 mil. Sounds like they can get it done.
There's also this report, from Jon Heyman:
The Giants are talking to franchise pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain about multiyear deals, but [...] the team seems to be focusing on deals of two years or one with Lincecum after he rebuffed an offer of at least $100 million for five years.
It makes sense. Lincecum is two years away from becoming a free agent. All along, it's been reported that he wanted either a short contract, or a very long contract. The Giants would feel most comfortable with something in between, an option to which Lincecum evidently isn't open. At least not right now.
If Brown's tweet is true, it stands to reason that Lincecum and the Giants should be able to reach an agreement. If Lincecum and the Giants reach an agreement, they'll avoid arbitration. And if they reach an agreement that's two years in length, then Lincecum will be staring at free agency after the 2013 season, as he has been all along.