Barry Zito

So Tim Lincecum wants an 8-year deal…

According to sources Tim Lincecum wants an 8-year deal from the Giants, and barring that he is more than willing to stay with short term deals with the Giants until he reaches free agency after the 2013 season.

So what kind of a money would a guy with Lincecum’s talent level command over eight years?

A few weeks ago I looked at locking up Matt Cain to a long-term deal on my Giants blog and I want to go about looking at what kind of a deal would make sense for Lincecum. With each passing day it looks like it will take something bigger than the infamous and regrettable Barry Zito contract to keep Lincecum around.

Who are the Comparable Pitchers?

The first and hardest question: who are the right people to compare Lincecum to when you’re looking to price a deal like this? The closest deals of note recently on the free agent market would be for C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, and even these deals are not perfect comparables considering Lincecum’s unique skill set.

Sabathia is probably the closet comparable pitcher because when he signed his free agent deal with the Yankees he was the same age as what Lincecum is right now. However, even Sabathia’s resume doesn’t compare to what Tim has accomplished in his short time in the majors.

When Sabathia signed his deal three seasons ago he got an average annual value (AAV) of $23 million. This offseason he opted out of his contract and added an extra season, at the same time raising the AAVof his contract to $24 million per season.

The other comparable pitchers on my list have AAV close to that as well, Lee signed with the Phillies at his age 32 season to a 5-year deal for $24 million AAV and Halladay signed with the Phillies for an additional three years at $22 million AAV at his age 34 season. For Lincecum being younger than both of these guys he will probably want more years or more money.

So What Should Lincecum Expect?

If I were Lincecum’s agent I would push for a deal that surpasses what Sabathia was able to get at the same age because Lincecum has been a better pitcher up to the same age.

My starting point if I were Lincecum would probably be around eight years with an AAV of $25 million to try to be the first $200 million pitcher in Major League history. If I were the Giants I’d probably start with six years with an AAV of what Sabathia got in his first deal ($23 million) with vesting options for a couple extra seasons to get to the length that he is asking for (eight years).

Either way, a deal that is “friendly to the team” is pretty much out of the question. At arbitration Lincecum is looking at an $18 to $20 million payday with a raise for next season highly likely.

Conclusion

No matter if Lincecum signs a big extension or not, his days of being a bargain for the Giants are long gone. The question now is how longer he will be wearing the French vanilla as opposed to pinstripes (or whoever else is willing to pony up the money), and how much he’ll cost.

The Giants have two more seasons at least of arbitration with their ace, but the window for signing Lincecum long term is no longer team friendly and becomes more expensive with each passing day.

So if you were the Giants what would you offer Mr. Lincecum? Let us know in the comments.

I’m Scott Willis you can catch my Giants writing at Crazy Crabbers and follow me on twitter @BAStatsGuy and @CrazyCrabbers

27 Comments

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27 Comments on "So Tim Lincecum wants an 8-year deal…"

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adrian reynolds
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adrian reynolds

Just buy a Brinks truck, set in reverse, point to Timmy’s front door…

blank
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I’d pay him more money for fewer years, and try to get him to agree to $100-108 million over four years. If he wants more years, the AAV goes down to the $22-$24 range.

Lincecum and his agent announcing they want eight years (one more than Zito) means there will be no discounts, and I’m having a harder time envisioning Lincecum sticking around past 2013.

Not saying it’s impossible, since it would be a PR disaster if a healthy Lincecum walked. All of this stand-patness on offense is supposedly contingent on keeping the staff intact.

TSM
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TSM

i find it hard to imagine Tim asking for 8 years and getting 4. I think the Giants need to just suck it up and give him 6 years for ~140-150. There’s got to be at least one more Cy Young season in him.

RoneFace
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RoneFace
I don’t see Cain and Lincecum sticking around anymore. Part of it is the penny pinching on offense, part of it is the contract given to Zito (how do you play hardball with studs after that?), and part of it is the general sense that ownership’s goal is to win the NL West and “have a chance” rather than winning the World Series. If as fans and mere observers of the game, we can see that playing time and rosters spots aren’t being given to the best players in the system then surely the Giants players can recognize that too.… Read more »
E
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If its my decision, I sit down with him, his dad Chris, and his agent. And I tell them we’ll accept anything within reason and by within reason, the longest and highest contract for a pitcher in the history of the game. For a number of reasons. The kid’s mechanics are solid as granite. Contrary to media foolishness, his delivery is almost injury proof barring an untoward accident like Herb Score. And is mechanically more sound than Cain. The combined assets of San Francisco Baseball Associates are in the billions. For a little perspective Walgreens drugs loses more to shoplifting… Read more »
The Goose
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The Goose
Would I like to see Lincecum stick around? Of course. That being said, the Giants raised their payroll by 30% last year to 126 mill. This market will never be as profitable/lucrative(local TV deal) as other bigger markets that can afford to spend more. Fans always seem to think that a team should have as high a payroll as possible simply because the ownership is rich. Sports teams aren’t our personal local charities. As much as I’d love the Giants to sign Lincecum, ownership still deserves to make a profit and at the very least not to lose money. It’s… Read more »
RoneFace
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RoneFace
Do you realize that the Phillies play in a similar sized market, with a similar attendance record, and spend $50 million more? $50 million! What is the possible excuse or explanation for that? How is it that their owners are satisfied with their profit margin after a $180 million payroll but the Giants owners aren’t satisfied with even $140 million? I understand how the Yankees can spend more but there’s really no excuse for lagging behind anyone else by a significant margin, except that the Giants owners love to claim they are a smaller market team so no one expects… Read more »
Sean
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Sean

I would venture to say that the difference is the Phillies owners have other business interests that provide food for their families; whereas the majority of the Giants ownership group relies mostly on the profits derived from the Giants to “provide food for their families.” Pure conjecture…

Tim
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Tim

I think Timmy is gone to the Yankees ?Only team Thant would pay any price.

blank
Editor
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Mr. Lincecum, I don’t want to tell a Cy Young Award winner how to do his job, but maybe you should leave the negotiating to your agent.

blank
Editor
Member

And going third person isn’t going to make Hue Jackson happy. That’s kind of his thing.

The Goose
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The Goose

Actually, the Phillies have one big market to themselves where as we share our market with another team.

The Phillies stadium seats 60k and ours 44k.

Phillies signed a new TV deal recently and the Giants are still on the old one. The Rangers just signed a 3 Billion local TV deal. That’s how huge TV money is.

RoneFace
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RoneFace

Actually, Citizen’s Bank Park holds 43k and you can argue all you want that the Bay Area is somehow split but it won’t change the fact that the A’s don’t draw anyone away from the Giants. The Giants basically do have the market to themselves, they just refuse to act like it.

Stan
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Stan

I wonder if Sabean,McGowan and Baer were at Barrys wedding? top of the line-and they paid for ALL of it,including the blond beauty queen wife.
As soon as Barry finds out he can’t date other woman anymore,that marriage is over….

joewho
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joewho

Tim hasn’t pitched $200 mil baseball the past two years…

Stan
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Stan

2010 WS champs. And it was Lincecim who beat the Padres,Braves,Phils,and Ranger aces.

TheGeneral
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TheGeneral

Agreed and we are all so happy about that. No doubt timmy has pitched like a star, especially in the WS….but $200 mil deserves some more regular season consistency. You cannot tell me that he has been as electrifying as he was when he won the two CYs. $200 mil is a heckuva lot of money and there were several pitchers who outpitched him the last couple seasons.

Stan
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Stan

Yeah-but how much was he paid for TWO Cy’s and a W.S. champ ring?
So ,if you factor those work for free years,it makes his big contract look sensible. And unlike Zito,he’s no junk thrower with declining stats. And I would judge Lincecums will to win much greater then “I hit the jackpot” Zito and his love of GQ magazine. Zito is a pretend male model,philosopher,and MLB pitcher.

Stan
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Stan

If theres one player the Giants need to sign-its the kid. I didnt think there was any argument to that. They need him like they need baseballs.
I would advise the Giants though,to get one of those insurance policys on him like Movie starlets would get if they lost a leg or booby,or someth’in important like that….

Stan
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Stan
And speaking of BUSTER POSEY..on the radio shows today. To me -it WAS a dirty play. He meant to do damage. On another level..ALL the previous year I was posting Buster isn’t catcher material. AND the Splash Giant fantaics/AndyBaggs guys hated to hear that. Buster Posey was getting hurt on things other catchers brushed off..pitches fouled gave him concussions,or it was a combination of his stance that exacerbated his hurt by fouls..whatever the reason I could see it coming he wouldnt last as a catcher. Then he was “blown up” by the Marlins. The Giants would have to be fools… Read more »
The Goose
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The Goose
Baseball is a dirty sport sometimes and the Posey incident wasn’t a dirty play – it was baseball. I’d hate to see the game santized to the point where guys shied away from playing tough. And by the way, the Giants sounded like total crybabies and hypocrites when they vehemently protested the play that injured Posey. And quite frankly Posey sounded like a baby too in his dealings with the media after it occurred. If one of the Gaints players had done the same to Mauer or it had happened to Whiteside instead; they wouldn’t have said a peap. It… Read more »
Stan
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Stan

It was dirty when Mauer veered away from the basepaths and took aim..he meant to knock Posey into the next county. If thats clean baseball…

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[…] Bay Area Sports Guy &#8211 ; Is Tim Lincecum worth the desired 8 year deal? Does it make sense for the Giants? […]

Bradley Emden
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Bradley Emden
It is interesting that the comment was made that his is not charity and the team/players deserve to make a profit. That may be true in SF when the team actually had debt service for their own stadium. But many of the billionaire owners in baseball, including the owners of the Marlins, have their stadium built by the taxpayers ie; corporate welfare, and now the people in Florida will expect the team to function with that in mind. If you compare revenue stream and attendance with amount spent by each team, I think the giants will be low spenders in… Read more »
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