02/17/09 8:24 PM EST
Lincecum's agent visits Giants camp
No talks currently scheduled for possible multiyear deal
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
But Thurman said that he had no immediate talks scheduled with the Giants, though he recently spoke with vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans. This time, Thurman was content to watch Lincecum throw and participate in the workout and merely say "hi" to Evans.Players with less than three years of Major League service time must be signed by March 11; otherwise, the club can renew their deals at a figure of its choosing. The Giants run the risk of insulting Lincecum and inviting a grudge with a lowball salary. Having negotiated multiyear deals with Matt Cain and Noah Lowry, the Giants might be expected to do the same with Lincecum. Going year-to-year with Lincecum could prove expensive for the Giants. When he becomes eligible for salary arbitration after this season, his pay is likely to skyrocket beyond what a long-term contract might lock him into, assuming he continues to thrive on the mound. "If it happens, it's something we'll explore," Thurman said, referring to chances for a multiyear agreement. "If it doesn't, that's OK, too." Thurman said that he expected to hear from Evans "after he looked at the landscape out there." But baseball's landscape doesn't typically include performers such as Lincecum, who won the Cy Young in only his second Major League season. Salaries are often driven by comparisons to other players, and nobody compares to Lincecum except for stars of yesteryear such as Dwight Gooden, Bret Saberhagen and Fernando Valenzuela, who also won the Cy Young in their second seasons. Thurman explained that in Lincecum's case, he and the Giants might negotiate by forecasting his performance and corresponding salary levels for the next five seasons, which would take him into his free-agency eligibility.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.