The San Francisco Giants have avoided arbitration with ace righty Tim Lincecum by agreeing to a contract with him. The 27-year-old two-time National League Cy Young Award winner’s new deal is worth $40.5 million over two years.
The Giants gave Lincecum a $500,000 signing bonus, and the contract includes a salary of $18 million for 2012 and $22 million for 2013. The Washington product still has to pass a physical, but the deal should be officially announced next week.
By agreeing to a deal the two sides avoided what could have been a ugly showdown. Lincecum had asked for a near-record $21.5 million in salary arbitration, while the Giants had offered him $17 million. The previous record sought in arbitration came when Roger Clemens asked for $22 million in 2005. San Francisco’s offer was the highest in history, besting the $14.25 million the New York Yankees offered Derek Jeter in 2001.
In February of 2010 Lincecum agreed to a two-year, $23 million deal ahead of an arbitration hearing.
In 2011 Lincecum went 13-14 with a 2.74 ERA, which was the first year in which he had a losing record. The righty had 220 strikeouts in 217 innings pitched. He has been an All-Star in each of the past four seasons and has a career record of 69-41 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP, while also totaling 1,127 in 1,028 innings pitched.
Lincecum got a huge deal by being consistently outstanding for the Giants. He is the ace of one of baseball’s best pitching staffs and we all knew he was going to get a big contract sooner or later. Is he worth more than $20 million a year? Probably not, but that is the going rate for an ace starting pitcher these days.