Not long ago, players and teams hit the deadline to submit filings for arbitration. Tim Lincecum submitted a record request for players with less than six years of service, while the Giants submitted a record offer for players with less than six years of service. It looked like it could be quite the story.
Of course, Lincecum and the Giants aren't actually going to arbitration. Two years ago, Lincecum and the Giants almost went to arbitration before they agreed to a two-year contract. This time around, they didn't wait so long, as another two-year contract is in place. Hank Schulman:
Timmy gets two years, $40.5 million
Recently, the Giants reportedly offered Lincecum $40 million over two years, while Lincecum countered with $44 million over two years. The Giants won that negotiating round, I guess.
So, a two-year contract. This contract buys out Lincecum's remaining years of arbitration eligibility and nothing more, as he's still set to become a free agent after the 2013 season. Long-term contract talks, of course, could continue, or start up at a later date. Lincecum is by no means guaranteed to hit the market.
If you add everything up, Lincecum will have made nearly $70 million by the time this deal is up. That's nearly $70 million before hitting any free agency years. One wonders if that would make hypothetical free agent Lincecum less determined to get the biggest contract possible. One cannot know the answer, so one needn't speculate. For now, Tim Lincecum remains a starter for the San Francisco Giants, and now he won't have to sit in a hearing while a team representative points out his flaws in front of a judge. Not bad.