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Lincecum's arbitration is set for Friday

Feb 10, 2010, 11:23 AM EDT

Yahoo!’s Tim Brown reports that the Giants and Lincecum are going to square-off in arbitration on Friday. Mel Antonen reports that union honcho Michael Weiner will be there in person, which is pretty interesting.

Brown asks a question in his tweet: “Why are the Giants picking this fight?”

I’ve been critical of the Giants here too, but upon reflection, unless and until we learn that the Giants haven’t been throwing any halfway decent offers in Lincecum’s direction, we should probably accept the possibility that Lincecum is the one picking this fight.

No matter what happens, if Lincecum loses and gets $8 million they ought to just abolish arbitration the next day, because it will have revealed itself to be totally worthless.

  1. ecp - Feb 10, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    My gut instinct is Lincecum wants $13 million. Period. Not a penny less. And his agent is smart enough to know he’ll get it, so it’s not really a fight at all.
    I’m sure not close enough to the situation, and I haven’t read or heard a peep about Lincecum’s feelings on the matter, but I can’t see the guy ever signing long term with the Giants. Am I wrong?

  2. Jon M. - Feb 10, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    For what it’s worth, ecp, here’s Lincecum talking about the whole thing a few days ago:
    http://www.contracostatimes.com/giants/ci_14345326

  3. Pete Toms - Feb 10, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Whether Lincecum gets 8 or 13 or they saw off at the mid-point, he is severely underpaid. What did Piniero get, 2 yrs $18 mill? And if Lincecum were a FA wouldn’t he get closer to CC money ($23 million IIRC?) than whatever he will get.
    I don’t feel bad for management over salary arb. Lincecum, Howard, whoever, they would command more in an open market. And most importantly, Lincecum played for relative peanuts the last couple years.
    And salary arb also brought the end of holdouts in MLB. Does anybody miss that? (or is anybody old enough to remember?)

  4. Adam S - Feb 10, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Craig,
    Not sure I’d put Lincecum’s chances of winning much better than 50/50. A few reasons:
    – The largest ever award for a super-2 is $10mn to Ryan Howard. Howard had special circumstances in that he was able to argue the Phillies kept him in the minors for organizational reasons when he was clearly ready to play in the majors. Lincecum can’t make this argument.
    – Arbitrators side with management twice as often as they side with players.
    – Arbitrators are often fairly conservative and make incremental change. Many will be uncomfortable with making an award 30% above the previous record, especially when the special circumstances applicable to the previous record do not apply.
    – Arbitrators don’t have a track record of allowing the special accomplishments clause to outweigh all other precedent. If they did, Eric Gagne would have won his case in 2004.
    The only mystery to me is why the Giants and Lincecum haven’t been able to settle at close to the midpoint. Seems to be an obvious win-win outcome for both sides.

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