In case you missed our Julian Levine's update on the Tim Lincecum arbitration process earlier today, the San Francisco Giants countered the $21.5 Million filing that Tim submitted earlier this week. Although the two sides are moving closer to a deal, here is my case on why Tim is worth every penny, and possibly more:
Since his first full season in 2008, Tim Lincecum leads all NL starters in Wins (62) IP (881.2) WAR (24.7) and K/9 (9.98). Oh yea, and he sits pretty at 3rd in FIP behind Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay. His value since appearing in the Majors in 2007 has been beyond outstanding for someone who is reaching arbitration.
Some teams like to lock up young star pitchers to gain value on their contract, but even with an expanding Payroll, the Giants have failed to lock up Tim to a long term deal (partly due to this fella).
Tim Linecum stacks up very nicely against two pitchers who were retained recently before hitting the free agency market, Jered Weave and CC Sabathia (FanGraphs). Weaver's 5/$85 million deal is front loaded & Sabathia's 8/$186 million is pretty evenly spaced out. With youth on both of these big names, isn't Tim worth a long term deal?
For argument sake if you look at Tim Linecum in either parks via Katron,7 of Tim's HR surrounded at home would of stayed in Yankee or Angel's Stadiums. Obviously the size of AT&T park plays into his value.Given his youth and history, there is no reason for Tim not to gain a deal in CC Sabathia length or money. If the Rangers can pay $100+ million for someone who has never pitched in the majors, the Giants should certainly lock up a Cy Young Winner.
As someone from New York, I have seen what a big contract can look like as both a success and failure. It is safe to say the Giants have no interest in trading away Tim (unless the Mariners want to flip Montero--kidding), but as mentioned before, the Payroll is slightly blocked right now. He does have another Arbitration eligible season ahead in 2013 while Zito is under contract for a cool $20 million. Unless the Giants plan on eating part of his salary, ala how the Yankees reportedly wish to do with Burnett, it may be some time before Tim gets his big deal.
For what its worth, the biggest filing request previous to this was Derek Jeter's $18.5 million in 2010. With the Giants offering $17 million, expect history.