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Giants Spring Training 2012: Matt Cain Contract Extension Talks Could "Take A While"

San Francisco Giants 27-year-old starting pitcher Matt Cain had a good season in 2011. In fact, he's had a pretty good career in San Francisco. Last season, he started 33 games, allowed 71 earned runs, nine home runs, struck out 179 batters, went 12-11 and finished the season with a 2.88 ERA. He and the Giants are in negotiation for a contract extension to keep Cain in the Bay Area, but according to an Associated Press report on ESPN, those negotiations may take a while.

Giants president and CEO Larry Baer wants to keep Cain and Tim Lincecum together on the team's starting rotation, but Baer also said that the team is looking "fair value" in their negotiations with Cain.

"We're listening to anything that's of fair value. That's the way we're taking it," Cain said.

Fellow starting pitcher Lincecum, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, received a $40.5 million, two-year contract less than a month ago to avoid arbitration, which may be slowing down talks with Cain, but Baer says that even if negotiations are slow, the fact that they are negotiating is a good thing.

"I don't want to comment on status but any time you're talking, it's a good thing, and we'll talk," Baer said of dealings with Cain. "It's been a lot of back and forth conversations. All I will say is that if there are conversations, that's a good thing. We care about all of our players and the homegrown players, obviously, carry some special qualities. Matt or any of our guys are people that we're going to put big energy into."

It's believed that Cain is looking for a five-year extension worth somewhere around $100 million. Baer didn't say what the team is offering at this point, but he did say that both sides just want a decision to be made soon, whether that means Cain will stay in San Francisco or he leaves.

"I believe both sides would like to have something resolved, whether it's signing back or whether it's not," Cain said.

For more on the San Francisco Giants, head to McCovey Chronicles.