Giants' Lincecum seeks record $13 million
Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum asked for a record $13 million in salary arbitration yesterday, while the San Francisco Giants offered their ace $8 million.
Lincecum is seeking the richest contract ever awarded in arbitration, surpassing the $10 million that Alfonso Soriano (2006) and Francisco Rodriguez (2008) got after losing cases and Ryan Howard got after winning his in 2008.
If Lincecum and the Giants don't settle, an arbitration panel will hold a hearing next month and pick one of the salaries.
Lincecum's case is an interesting test because few players have entered salary arbitration with credentials similar to his. Called up early in the 2007 season, the right-hander has a 40-17 record with a 2.90 ERA.
He won the Cy Young in his first two full seasons, becoming the first repeat winner since Randy Johnson from 1999-2002. Lincecum was a bargain for the Giants last year, when he made $650,000.
The Giants reached a preliminary agreement with free-agent catcher Bengie Molina. A person with knowledge of the negotiations spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been completed.
Right-hander Jered Weaver and catcher Mike Napoli agreed to one-year contracts with Los Angeles, avoiding salary arbitration.
Weaver will make $4.265 million after going16-8 with a 3.75 ERA last year. Napoli will make $3.6 million.
Outfielder Ryan Ludwick and St. Louis avoided arbitration for the second straight season, agreeing to a $5.45 million, one-year deal.
The 31-year-old Ludwick hit .265 with 22 homers and 97 RBIs last season for the NL Central champions. He agreed to a $3.7 million one-year deal last February.
First baseman James Loney, catcher Russell Martin and relievers George Sherrill and Hong-Chih Kuo have agreed to one-year contracts with Los Angeles.
All four players were eligible for salary arbitration. Martin's contract is for $5.05 million, Loney will make $3.1 million, Sherrill gets $4.5 million and Kuo will earn $950,000.
Felix Hernandez and Seattle are closing in on a five-year contract that would avoid arbitration, and prevent him from becoming a free agent after the 2011 season.
A person confirmed the progress of talks to The Associated Press yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet finished.
Jeff Francoeur and New York agreed to a $5 million, one-year dealt which gives the outfielder a raise of more than $1.6 million.
Francoeur hit .311 with 20 doubles, 10 homers and 41 RBIs in 75 games with the Mets after being acquired from Atlanta on July 10. He batted .280 overall with 15 homers and 76 RBIs last year, when he made $3,375,000.
Reliever Chad Durbin has agreed to a one-year contract with Philadelphia worth $2,125,000 to avoid salary arbitration.
The 32-year-old right-hander appeared in 59 games last season, going 2-2 with two saves and a 4.39 ERA. He made $1,635,000. Center fielder Shane Victorino, a St. Anthony alum from Maui, is one of three Phillies still in arbitration.
Pittsburgh left-handed starter Zach Duke avoided a possible arbitration hearing by agreeing to a $4.3 million, one-year contract.
The 26-year-old Duke gets a $1 million raise from last season, when he was 11-16 with a 4.06 ERA in 32 starts while allowing 231 hits in 213 innings. He also was chosen for the All-Star game.
Boston and closer Jonathan Papelbon agreed to a $9.35 million, one-year contract, the highest salary for a reliever with four years of major league service. Papelbon's salary surpassed Mariano Rivera's $7.25 million contract
Boston also agreed to one-year deals with relievers Ramon Ramirez ($1,155,000) and Manny Delcarmen ($905,000), leaving outfielder Jeremy Hermida as the lone Red Sox in arbitration.
People familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that Colorado has reached preliminary agreements on multi-year contracts with relievers Huston Street and Rafael Betancourt.
Street will get $22.5 million over three years and Betancourt $7.55 million over two seasons, the people spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreements are not yet final.
Reliever Jose Valverde and Detroit finalized their $14 million, two-year contract. The agreement, which was reached last week pending a physical, includes a $9 million option for 2012.
Valverde had 25 saves in 29 chances for the Houston Astros last year, when he struck out 56 in 54 innings.