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.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.