If Lincecum Gets His $13 Million, He'll Have Felix to Thank

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"Are you sure you don't deserve double what the Giants are offering you, Tim?"
Felix Hernandez has reportedly signed a five-year, $80 million extension with the Mariners, and UW grad Tim Lincecum has filed for arbitration in an attempt to settle a dispute with his employer, the San Francisco Giants, over how much money he should make next season.

What do these two closely-timed news items have to do with one another? Nothing. And everything. But definitely a lot. Allow us to explain.

Lincecum has won two Cy Young Awards in three years and is 25 years old. Hernandez has won zero Cy Young Awards (including one runner-up) in four-and-a-half years of big league experience and is 23 years old. In short, they're the top two young starters in the game. It stands to reason that they should be similarly compensated, right?

Right--but try telling that to the Giants, who've offered Lincecum an $8 million contract (he made $650,000 this past season). He wants $13 million, and Hernandez just signed for $16 million per year. You know how when you get a house appraised, the assessor looks at comparable sales in the area? That logic will likely apply here, and if the Giants are smart, they'll look to meet their ace somewhere closer to his side of the middle than theirs before the arbitrator's even on the clock.

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