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How Lincecum did — and did not — match the record for first year arbitration awards

Feb 12, 2010, 1:55 PM EDT

lincecum_090913.jpgSo did Tim Lincecum’s new deal match the all-time record for first year arbitration players or not?  Well, it depends on who you ask.

I hadn’t realized this before, but I’m told that, for their own particular bookkeeping reasons, the MLBPA
values signing bonuses as applying to the first year of the deal in
their entirety while Major League Baseball prorates them over
the life of the deal. As such, Major League Baseball can — under their own accounting rules — declare victory in the Lincecum deal because, according to them, Tim Lincecum’s contract for 2010 will not match Ryan Howard’s record of $10 million, falling just short with an $8 million salary and a $1 million bonus. The union, however, can claim that Howard’s deal was matched with an $8 million salary and a $2 million bonus.

Ultimately this is all semantics, of course.  Sure, MLB’s construction sort of ignores the time value of money, but we’re only talking about, what, $75K here? Lincecum will probably spend more than that on Bob Marley albums, incense and Taco Bell runs in 2010.

Still, the fact that the numbers came out where they did, thereby allowing this little $10 million game, strongly suggests that the precedential cum political concerns surrounding Lincecum’s arbitration mattered a whole hell of a lot to the people involved.  Which I think is kind of stupid, really, because this should all be about what Tim Lincecum is worth, not the league and the union declaring victory.  But then again, no one asked me.

  1. Lawrence From Plattekill - Feb 12, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Hey, man, no Bogarting.

  2. Charles Gates - Feb 12, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    Has anyone seen my $75,000? The last time I saw it was this morning. I put it in my jacket pocket. It must have fell out sometime today. If no one has, oh well…we’re only talking about, what, $75K here.

  3. gumbercules - Feb 12, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    I love ya, Shyster, but I think it’s time for a moratorium on Lincecum/pot jokes. As a genre, they’re played. Like prog rock or something.

  4. Charles Gates - Feb 12, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Obviously I said that with a hint of snarkasm…but it always strikes me how we can just throw away a small percentage of a whole with wanton disregard. Rounding error, if you will. But then you take a step back and say, that small little percentage represents something very palpable in the real world.

  5. Charles Gates - Feb 12, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Now a ‘Lincecum is the Pope joke’ is totally ok:

  6. Ryan - Feb 12, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Hey man, stop harshing our buzz. The only thing we like around here more than our pot is our Rush and ELO.

  7. gumbercules - Feb 12, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Don’t forget Jethro Tull!

  8. Old Gator - Feb 12, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    Craig, no one asked you because you had already told them what you thought. This is the Office of the Commissioner, not the league Department of Redundancy Department.
    My wife never asks me what I think either. I just get the American Express bill every month. Nor does Belushi, my bagle hound, ask my permission to fart. You’re getting off easy.

  9. GimmeSomeSteel - Feb 12, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    I haven’t taken a hit in over 20 years, but I had “Thick As A Brick” on the stereo in the car just now. I think that may mean my brain is fried even without the use of drugs.

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