San Francisco Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly had some details about both Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain's contract talks with the team, and how it could eventually lead to one of them leaving the Black and Orange.
According to Baggs, the team's contract extension talks with Matt Cain will likely have a 'benchmark' set around the six-year $99 million contract that C.J. Wilson reportedly left on the table in Miami. the Giants plan is to have him locked up before spring training begins, and will be as aggressive as the have to be. Cain is set to make a big pay day though, which some folks feel could be very hefty indeed:
"Cain is younger and better than Wilson," an industry source tells Baggarly. "He'd get $150 million on the open market."
Baggarly would also mention that "the feeling around the league" is that the Giants will eventually have to part ways with one of either Cain or Tim Lincecum, something Brian Sabean has sworn he's trying to avoid.
Lincecum could stand to get upwards of $20 million in arbitration according to some sources. His agent, Rick Thurman, could even file for $25 million plus when the Lincecum and the Giants meet for arbitration talks Jan. 18.
Jon Heyman noted that Lincecum was looking for a eight-year contract a few days ago, which Baggarly confirms could have "opt-out language" included. The Giants do not have a policy against opt-out clauses, though they would likely prefer a shorter term contract than eight years. They may be left with few options; either sign 'em both for a lot of dough or watch one of them walk.
"The Giants' preference is to sign Timmy long term," Thurman said. "They know where we stand on the issues. Nothing has really changed on our end. Our talks would have to progress further down the line to advance it to more of a long-term negotiation."
One would think the team would prefer Lincecum over Cain, though the value Timmy could bring in a trade would likely be higher that Cain. Tough to even think about, and definitely not a reality yet. But it could happen.
Hopefully they can get them both to stay, likely with some offensive upgrades to be made for the team to be more appetizing over the next few seasons. The fans want them both to stick around, the question will be can the number all line up?
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