Giants offer Lincecum three-years, $37 million

In a surprising twist of events, a source tells John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that the Giants have offered ace Tim Lincecum a three-year, $37 million contract. The deal would pay the pitcher $9.5 million, $12.5 million and $15 million over the next three years, although Shea reports that Lincecum’s camp countered with a proposal for over $40 million.

If not, Friday’s hearing in Florida would decide whether Lincecum’s 2010 salary is $13 million (the figure he submitted) or $8 million (the figure submitted by the Giants).

The record for a player eligible for arbitration for the first time is $10 million (Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard), $4.35 million for a starting pitcher (Dontrelle Willis, Cole Hamels). It’s believed Lincecum’s agent, Rich Thurman, negotiating for a multiyear deal, has asked for a first-year salary close to the $13 million figure he submitted.

It was just yesterday that I hammered the Giants for creating a lose-lose situation by only offering Lincecum $8 million in arbitration and then following through with the hearing by setting it up for this Friday. I maintained they were running a risk of not only losing in arbitration, but also upsetting Lincecum (their franchise player) in the process by low-balling him with their $8 million offer.

But this changes everything. Now the Giants are showing their commitment to Lincecum by offering a fair deal that works for both sides. And if they’re only a few million apart, then hopefully they get something worked out by tomorrow and avoid a potentially messy arbitration hearing.

The Giants went from a lose-lose situation into a potentially positive one, although let’s see if they can close the deal before tomorrow.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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