The Giants are nearing a two-year contract with Tim Lincecum, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Beverly Hills Sports Council client is "very, very close" to an extension worth a little more than $40MM. A two-year deal would buy out the right-hander's final two seasons of arbitration eligibility and avoid a potentially historic hearing.
Lincecum filed for a $21.5MM salary through arbitration and the Giants countered at $17MM, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. Both figures set new records for players with less than six years of service time. Derek Jeter ($18.5MM) and the Yankees ($14.25MM) had established the previous marks more than a decade ago, in 2001.
Lincecum, 27, has a 2.98 ERA with 9.9 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 47.1% ground ball rate in 1028 career innings. He already has two Cy Young Awards and four All-Star Game selections to his name. Only four pitchers – Roy Halladay, C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander and Dan Haren – have produced more wins above replacement since 2007, Lincecum's rookie season.
This post was first published on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012.