Tim Lincecum's arbitration will not set some dangerous precedent

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lincecum wave.JPGBuster Olney quotes some baseball official worrying about Tim Lincecum’s arbitration. Specifically, he worries about the “precedent” a $13 million award could set.  That word he keeps using; I do not think it means what he thinks it means:

There is a lot of sentiment within other organizations for the
Giants to settle the case, because of what could happen if San
Francisco loses the decision, and creates precedent for a player with
three years of service time to make $13 million.

“You can make a
strong case based on precedent and still easily lose this,” said one
official. “[Lincecum’s] record is flawless, and he will be asking for
special consideration — and he could get it. They need to settle this.”

Given that Tim Lincecum is an unprecedented talent at his age and service time, what, exactly, is the problem with him winning an unprecedented award in arbitration? If the system is working like it should, that’s exactly what he should receive.

Put differently: baseball officials should only worry about Tim Lincecum’s
award setting a precedent of $13 million to third year players if
those players are otherworldly talents with multiple major awards like
Tim Lincecum. Last I checked there aren’t a ton of dudes like that.

Unless, of course, all the baseball official is worried about is paying a lot of money to great players in an absolute sense, in which case he’s just a management hack.

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.