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Will Lincecum’s $13 Million Request Pass Muster in Arbitration? 0

Posted on February 09, 2010 by Don Spieles

In the realm of general managers in Major League Baseball Theo Epstein is known for, among other things, the fact that in the years he’s been the GM of the Red Sox he has never gone through an arbitration hearing. His ability to negotiate, the team’s liquid financial status, and a bit of common sense have prevailed over his nine year career.

Well, that and the fact that he’s never had a player quite the caliber of Tim Lincecum to deal with. That’s Tim Lincecum, the 25 year old San Francisco Giants phenom, he of the two consecutive Cy Young Awards in his first two full seasons on the mound.

Including Lincecum, there have been eight Cy Young winners who took the award in consecutive years in the history of the game. In the AL there was Denny McClain (’68-’69), Jim Palmer (’75-’76), Roger Clemens (twice – ’86-’87 and ’97-’98), and Pedro Martinez (’99-’00). In the NL, we saw Sandy Koufax (’65-’66), Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson (special honors for the 4-peats – ’92 through ’95 and ’99 through ’02, respectively.) Of that group, Lincecum is tied for the youngest to accomplish the feat (he, McClain, and Clemens all did it at ages 24 and 25).

Of that group, Koufax and Palmer are Hall-of-Famers. Maddux and Johnson are first ballot men to be sure, as would Clemens be if not for steroid controversy. Martinez stands a good chance of making the HOF as well. Maddux, Clemens, and Johnson are all in the 300 Win Club. Johnson, Clemens, Maddux, and Martinez, all posted 3000 plus strikeouts.

San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics

Lincecum's early stats place him in very good company.

Suffice to say that, thus far at least, Tim Lincecum is in great company.

But if the two CY’s in a row get him a seat at the table, what about his other qualifications? How does he stack up otherwise at this early stage in his career?

Lincecum’s win/loss percentage (.702) is second only to Clemens. His ERA is better than that of McClain, and his WHIP (1.61) is better than that of McClain, Martinez and Johnson. And in a group known for strikeouts, Lincecum leads this impressive pack in strikeouts per nine innings (10.17).

In 2008, eight players chose arbitration and only two of them won. Ryan Howard of Philadelphia received $10 million after the club offered $7 Million and Oliver Perez of the Mets was awarded the $6.2 million he asked for instead of the $4.745 the club had in mind. In 2009, saw only three cases go to arbitration with Dan Uggla of the Marlins winning $5.35 million and Shawn Hill of the Nationals received $775,000. Read the rest of this entry →

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