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Why Lincecum took the deal

Tangotiger works the math on Lincecum's new deal:

    If each side thought they had a 50/50 shot at winning, Lincecum should have signed for 24.5MM$. He actually signed for 23MM$ plus bonuses, which we’ll value at an expected 0.5MM$. That is 23.5MM$. For whatever reason, Lincecum thought he had a tough case, and settled for below the mid-point.There’s also potentially the discount that Lincecum gave for being guaranteed 2 years, as opposed to going year-to-year. In my worst-case scenario ... I presumed something like Bedard or Sheets, where he’s out for half a season, but still will get something big in arbitration.

    Overall, it sounds like a fairly fair deal, given the high-risk unchartered waters both sides were in.

Tim Lincecum is a young pitcher with an unorthodox delivery and an unorthodox physique. Whether all that unorthodox-ness makes Lincecum more or less prone to injury, I don't know.

And neither does anyone else, which is what Tango means by "high-risk unchartered waters" for both Lincecum and the Giants.

Yes, he probably cost himself some money. I believe he would have won his arbitration, and earned $13 million this year. I believe he'll pitch brilliantly again, which would have left him in a position to earn another $15-$20 million next year; let's say $30 million over the two years. I believe that was the most likely outcome.

But think about the other extreme. He might have lost his arbitration case, and earned "only" $8 million this year. He might get hurt this year -- not seriously, but enough to cost him a dozen starts -- and wound up in line for "only" $12 million next year. That's $20 million over the two years, but potentially quite a bit less with a serious injury.

We're talking about a kid who made $650,000 last year (actually much, much less when you figure taxes, agent, union dues, tipping the clubhouse attendants, etcetera).

Would you have turned down the $23.5 million?