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As one of the best pitchers in the game, Tim Lincecum can expect a massive payday when he goes to arbitration for the first time after this season. However, as Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News points out, the Giants could have saved themselves millions by keeping Lincecum in the minors for another month early in his rookie season.
He began the year by overwhelming the Triple A competition, so the Giants called him up on May 6th. That allowed him to collect extra service, so he's now expected to gain Super Two
status after the season. As a result, he'll go to arbitration four times, instead of three. The Giants weren't going anywhere in 2007; a more cautious approach would have saved them millions.
Lincecum and his agent, Rick Thurman, appear to be content to negotiate salaries year-to-year. The Giants haven't discussed a long-term deal with their ace since the season began, but Lincecum's representatives are open to a multi-year contract.