Tom Verducci of SI.com says teams are willing to spend on amateur talent now because they expect MLB to push for a hard-slotting system after 2011 that would limit the bonuses top draft picks receive. Large-revenue teams like the Red Sox will lose the advantage they have now, since they'll no longer be able to snap up players who fall because of signability concerns.
Cole Hamels set a record for a pitcher in his first year of arbitration when he signed a three-year $20.5MM deal last year. Tim Lincecum appears ready to break that record after this season and not even Giants GM Brian Sabean knows what kind of deal to expect.
"I'm not sure who you compare him to," Sabean said. "And the other thing is he already has a Cy Young Award and just might have two."
Lincecum has 100 more strikeouts than Hamels did after last season and his ERA is half a run lower.