Tim Lincecum Signs Two-Year Deal

Looks like Cody Ross Day will have to wait. From Henry Schulman:

Timmy gets two years, $40.5 million

What this means:

  1. Tim Lincecum will be here for the next two years
  2. You knew that
  3. Well, okay, then.

But while you're right to be scared about things like this tweet ...

Lincecum and #SFGiants still far apart on long deal, like 2-3 yrs and maybe $80M-plus. good to avoid arb tho

... it's not necessarily a bad thing that the Giants and Lincecum didn't agree on a long-term deal. From a cold analytical perspective, a two-year deal for a pitcher -- no matter how good -- is always, always, always preferable than a six- or seven-year deal, save an ability to look into the future, which I'm told you can do if you snort some of the pineapple chunks from a Cha Cha Bowl. No, seriously, try it.

Worst-case scenario: Lincecum is on the Giants for two more years. Oh, there are ways to flesh out the details of that worst-case scenario. There's no point in speaking them aloud, such as a division rival getting new owners who will be looking to spend money to make a big ol' statement, but in that worst-case scenario, the Giants have two more years of Tim Lincecum.

The upside to waiting, though, is that the Giants get to watch Lincecum for two more years before deciding what to pay him. A rebound to his '08/'09 form? A year of August 2010s? Something like last year? All of those pitchers get vastly different deals. And based on that Heyman tweet up there, it looks like the Giants offered a 5/$100M deal, or something similar, and Lincecum's camp countered with something like 8/$180M, which would be a bananers deal. Even if that tweet is off by 33%, it would still be a crazy, risky contract.

If Lincecum is someone capable of staying healthy and otherworldly -- and I have no real reason to doubt that he can -- then the Giants will have quite the scrum of rich teams jostling for position after 2013. The good news is that Lincecum's not going to cut them any deals either. If the Giants really want to pay Tim Lincecum hundreds of millions of dollars for over a half-decade, they'll still have their chance.

Pretend that Lincecum was already a super-free-agent. He's on the market already, courting, dining, and negotiating. There are rumors. There are rumors of the rumors. There is that guy that knows a guy who didn't want to tweet this but here goes. The Yankees are in. The rumor du jour is six years, $155 million. Can the Giants top it? Will they? Someone with knowledge of the organization's thinking about a source close to Lincecum says that the Giants are willing to come over the top. Seven years, $180 million. Chaos. Looting. Horrible Barry Zito jokes.

Then after all of that, the announcement is made: Tim Lincecum signs. Two years, $40.5 million. Imagine how giddy you'd be. Imagine how reasonable that would seem, what little risk there would be. It would seem like a coup.

That's where the Giants are right now. Not a bad place to be, all told. The merits and pitfalls of a super-deal to Tim Lincecum can be explored later. Right now the Giants can busy themselves by destroying those Lincecum-has-halitosis dittos they were running off for the arbitration hearing.

Lincecum's around for two years, at least. It's cool if you think of it like that.

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