The Giants reportedly had offered 5 years, $100M, but Lincecum's side turned that down, which I understand, because that basically values each year like the two year deal, at $20M AAV. He is probably looking to get CC type money in his free agent years. Lincecum had said in an interview late in the 2011 season that he preferred shorter deals because there's less pressure involved, but then when his agent asked for an 8 year contract, that statement just rings false.
Baggarly and Schulman followed up on the news with more focused posts.
Baggarly focused more on Lincecum's agent (and the Giants) saying that this deal does not preclude a longer term deal later. He astutely notes that with the arbitration clock ticking, the impetus now is to get a deal done that stops that clock within that timespan, and the two sides were more in sync on a two year contract, and thus they got that done first. He noted the example of Wilson signing to avoid arbitration, then signing a longer deal in the spring. Lastly, he said that the payroll ended up a little less than the $130M announced cap.
Schulman had a nice post covering a lot of different things, I recommend checking it out for all the details, the link is above. He noted two critical points: 1) that this does not mean that Lincecum does not want to be here long-term, and 2) Lincecum is taking the risk by accepting the two year deal instead of the five year.
Schulman also noted some interesting things about Cain:
If reports are true, Matt Cain is taking the opposite tack. He’s willing to accept a below-market, long-term deal in exchange for that security and stability. I’m told no deal is imminent with Cain.Giants Thoughts
I like the deal but wish Lincecum had took the five year deal, though I understand why he didn't, the Giants probably should have offered something in the $110-120M range to get that deal done. I like knowing that we have him for a long time, so this is disappointing in that it is only two years.
But the Baggarly post about Lincecum's agent's comments that this does not preclude a longer deal signed later was heartening, as that suggests that they and the Giants are planning on continuing to discuss the parameters of a longer term deal somewhere down the line, that the interest is there on both sides.
I was disappointed that there was no deal imminent with Cain, but also understand since the Giants were probably focused on all the arbitration deals. Now perhaps they will work more diligently on it. I didn't really think that a deal would be done until spring training anyway, I think both of his long-term deals were announced in spring training before, so why would this one be different.
So I'm happy but not ecstatically happy, but that's OK too, a $100M+ contract is just a lot of risk to take on. If Lincecum is OK with 2 year contracts going forward, I'll be OK with that too. But I would be just as happy to have Cain signed to a 5 year, $80-90M deal as well. He's a Hoss.