Multiyear deals for Lincecum, Cain?

Wednesday, Nov. 16

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants are well aware that they have something special in Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, who are essentially co-aces of their pitching staff.

So reports that the Giants are trying to sign both right-handers to multiyear deals, thus buying them out of their first few years of free agency, make perfect sense.

Cain will earn $15 million next year in the final season of a three-year $27.25 million contract and would then become eligible for free agency. Lincecum, who can expect a huge increase through salary arbitration from the $14 million he earned last year, will vault into free agency after the 2013 campaign.

Unless the Giants lock him up first.

Jon Heyman of reported that the Giants are considering four-year deals for Cain and Lincecum. Most teams consider such longterm contracts risky. But Cain and Lincecum aren’t most pitchers. Both are 27, have combined to make six National League All-Star teams and have not endured a serious arm injury.

“We have to keep our pitching together,” Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans said this week at the General Managers Meetings. Retaining Cain and Lincecum through the first half of this decade would accomplish that.

— Chris Haft

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