Giants Playing Hardball?

January 20, 2010, 12:54 am
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Jan. 19, 2010GIANTS PAGE
The first thing I thought when I heard the proposed salaries that Tim Lincecum (13 million) and the Giants (8 million) exchanged Tuesday was, Huh?Then, Wow.Then, Are the Giants trying to lose this thing?Now that Ive had some time to soak it in, though, Im going to give the Giants the benefit of the doubt.Surely this is merely a step toward the logical resolution of a multi-year deal that takes Lincecum through his arbitration years. Right?If it isnt, its back to, Wow. They really are trying to lose this thing!If you arent intimately familiar with the arbitration process, heres all you really need to know at this point: If the sides dont agree on a deal before the case is heard in February by a three-person panel, that panel must pick the Giants number or Lincecums number.Right now, which number would you pick if you were on the panel? Im giving Lincecum his 13 million with zero deliberation.Ryan Howard holds the arbitration-award record at 10 million, and hes a beast, no question about it. Money well-earned. But Lincecum is the pitching equivalent of Howard and then some, and the Giants are offering him 2 million less?Please tell me theres more to this.Please tell me its a clever precursor to a four-year, 64 million deal.Please tell me something with more certainty than, Well, hes eligible for arbitration three more times, so hes not going anywhere!The only certainty right now is that if a deal isnt struck between the sides before this bad boy goes to a hearing, the Giants will lose.-- Mychael Urban