Tim Lincecum requested $21.5 million and was offered by the Giants $17 million when arbitration figures were exchanged Tuesday. Both were records for a player with less than six years of service time. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that “significant progress” has been made in negotiations since the filing numbers were exchanged and that both sides are confident they can strike a new deal without going to an arbitration hearing next month.
The length of the contract being discussed isn’t exactly clear, but Lincecum remains under team control for two more seasons and is reluctant to give up any of his free agent years unless it’s part of a long-term deal. The Giants previously balked at the suggestion of an eight-year contract, not surprisingly. However, Baggarly writes that there at least appears to be “plenty of common ground” on the value of a one- or two-year deal.
Lincecum, 27, posted a 2.74 ERA and 220/86 K/BB ratio over 217 innings in 2011. The two-time NL Cy Young winner has a 2.98 ERA over his first five seasons in the majors.