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On Tim Lincecum And Worth

January 18, 2012

"Yep, keep writing zeroes."

Whatever happens, Tim Lincecum is about to get a buttload of cash. It might be handed to him in arbitration, doled out in a fat one-year contract or spread over multiple years, Zito-style (hopefully without the whole “being bad at pitching” part). But it’s coming.

This, naturally, has led some to ask if Lincecum is “worth” the $21.5 million his camp is asking for, or even the $17 million the Giants are offering. Here’s something to consider:

2008: $405,000

2009: $650,000

2010: $9,000,000

2011: $14,000,000

In 2008 and 2009, Lincecum was pretty good. Like 500-plus-strikeouts, two Cy Youngs good. And he made less in those two years combined than Aaron Rowand will earn in a month to not play for the Giants. My point isn’t to rub salt in the squatty wound; it’s merely to say that when you think about current value, you also have to think about past value, and in this case it more than balances out.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the Giants should lock Lincecum up through the Ron Paul Administration. A one- or two-year deal might be the smart move, and it seems to be what he prefers. All I’m saying is Timmy’s gonna get paid, and I’m cool with that. You should be too.

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