Now that Joe Mauer has won the MVP and become the first catcher since at least 1900 to lead his league in OPS, and Tim Lincecum has won his second’s consecutive Cy Young Award, how much will it cost to sign them?
The talk is that the Twins are going to try to convince Mauer to stay in the Twin Cities (he’s from St. Paul, of course), for a hometown discount in the neighborhood of $120 million over seven years. That’s an awful lot of money, but Mauer could make far more playing for one of MLB’s top eight teams (the Yankees obviously — he’s all-time good.)
There’s also talk that he could make enormous dollars in endorsement deals and advertising if he played in New York or Boston. You weight that against being a huge star in your hometown.
My guess is that the MVP Award means the Twins will have to come closer to the $180 million, eight year deal that Mark Tiexiera got last year from the Yankees to get Mauer to still agree to a discount.
Tim Lincecum’s agent is apparently talking about going to arbitration, according the SF Chronicle’s John Shea. There’s also talk that Lincecum’s agent and the union are considering filing for $23 million and one dollar, since that’s one more dollar than what C. C. Sabathia makes now.
The last part is just blather, I suspect, much like Scott Boras’s claim that Stephen Strasburg was a $50 million player. After priming the market, Strasburg ultimately signed for $15.1 million, and I have a strong feeling that Lincecum’s final arbitration number would come a lot closer to that than the $23 million number above. His agent’s job is to maximize the actual final contract, and I can’t imagine him coming in with a number that he wouldn’t have closer to a 50% chance on.
As an older man than Lincecum, I’m a big fan of the guaranteed long-term contract. However, after winning two Cy Young Awards in a row, I can see why they’d want to go arbitration unless the Giants really wowed him on a deal that takes him up to free agency. I still think there’s a good chance of a long-term deal, because I think that the $23 million dollar is just another attempt to prime the market.