If ever there was a high-stakes game of poker being played this off-season in Major League Baseball, it assuredly sees Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants sitting across the table from each other.
And on Friday, “sitting across the table” moves from the figurative to the literal as The Freak has his record setting salary arbitration case heard in Tampa, FL.
Today on Yahoo! Sports, I break down how the hearing process works and what is likely to occur in the Lincecum case.
From Inside a Tim Lincecum arbitration hearing
The arbitration process normally has each side filing figures that mirror those of other players with similar major league service time. (see the Salary Arbitration Tracker for players that have exchanged figures). But in the case of Lincecum, no such player exists. He has less service time (2 years, 148 days) than the typical first-year arbitration player who has three full seasons. He’s led the National League in strikeouts (265 in 2008 and 261 last season) and in strikeouts per nine innings (10.507 and 10.425) in each of his two full seasons. No one with less service time has ever won back-to-back Cy Young awards.
So to many (including this author), the $13 million figure filed by Lincecum may actually be lower than what he deserves. Lower, that is, if the plan was to compromise between the asking and offering figure. While it would still be a record for a first-time eligible player, negotiations around the $10.5 million mid-point between Lincecum’s asking and the Giants’ offering figure would seem to shortchange his worth.
Then again, maybe his plan all along was to go to an arbitration hearing.
What goes on in the hearing room? See the article for details.
OTHER YAHOO! SPORTS ARTICLES ON SALARY ARBITRATION:
Salary arbitration: Battle of the midpoint – 1/26/10
Evolution of salary arbitration: an ironic tale – 1/19/10
RESOURCES FOR SALARY ARBITRATION
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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