A free agent pitcher on the decline coming off of major surgery and still looking for work on February 12 isn’t exactly the definition of Big News. But as newspaper men have known for ages, if you make a bit of information sound cool enough, it becomes news.
Or, in some cases, you can make a lack of information sound cool. If you hear about a trade rumor but aren’t able to actually find out the identity of one of the teams, call it a “mystery team.” Oooh, isn’t that dramatic? Aren’t you privy to all kinds of intrigue! Or, how about this: that free agent on the decline is doing what scores of other ballplayers looking for work are doing and is working out in the Phoenix area, trying to catch on someplace. That’s kind of boring. And you don’t even know who he’s auditioning for or where to boot. Man, that’s not the sort of information that’s gonna be fun or interesting to report.
There. “Secret location.” THAT sounds exciting. THAT separates this bit of news from the dog-bites-man “baseball player playing baseball” non-story. *reporter cracks knuckles* “Now to sit back and wait for the plaudits for my amazing reporting skills to come rolling in.”
If that whole thing about the founder of MySpace offering to pay his salary to keep him in San Francisco doesn’t work out for Tim Lincecum he may be able to find a new home in Baltimore.
Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles “have expressed interest” in the free agent right-hander, but with the two-time Cy Young winner still planning an upcoming showcase to prove he’s healthy following hip surgery Encina adds that the level of interest is “unclear.”
Baltimore has previously been linked to free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo, but apparently that pursuit cooled due to their not wanting to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. They’re trying to replace left-hander Wei-Yen Chen, who signed a five-year, $80 million deal with the Marlins.
Even if he looks healthy throwing for interested teams in the near future it’s hard to imagine Lincecum getting more than an incentive-laden one-year deal at this point. He’s still just 32 years old, but his velocity has been on the decline for a while now and he hasn’t posted an ERA under 4.00 since 2011.
We talked about Tim Lincecum the other day and how the once-great, now not-so-great pitcher is a free agent. Maybe he signs elsewhere — probably, actually, as the Giants don’t have much room for him it seems — but if he does, it will be very difficult to see him in another team’s uniform. The Freak is just SUPPOSED to wear black, orange and that off-white the Giants sport.
Certainly some Giants fans feel that way. Including one rich Giants fan: Tom Anderson. If you don’t know him by name, this may refresh your memory:
That takes you back, doesn’t it? Yes, Tom Anderson is MySpace Tom, your VERY FIRST MySpace friend! He is a real person. Indeed, he’s one of the founders of MySpace and he is presumably a super, duper rich guy given that NewsCorp bought MySpace for over half a billion dollars back when things like using MySpace seemed like a good idea. MySpace Tom is apparently a Giants fan, because yesterday he tweeted this:
He may have posted it on MySpace too, but how would anyone know that?
Anyway, I can totally understand Tom’s attachment to Lincecum. Linceucm was a total beast for the Giants. Giants fans love him, even if he hasn’t been worth a damn as a pitcher for several seasons. There are good associations there, everyone wants to see him return to at least decent form and, by gum, they want to see him do it in a Giants uniform.
And to be fair, if you have a financial interest in MySpace, I’m sure you would do anything under the sun to bring back 2008 again too.
Giants GM Bobby Evans acknowledged to the San Francisco Chronicle that he has maintained contact with free agent Tim Lincecum.
Everyone has focused so much on the big-time free agents that we’ve sort of forgotten about the former back-to-back Cy Young Award winner. But he too is a free agent and, the Giants’ interest notwithstanding, is planning to hold a showcase for interested teams next month in Arizona.
Those Cy Youngs are pretty far back in the rear-view mirror, unfortunately. He has a 39-42 record with a 4.68 ERA, declining strikeout rates and climbing walk rates over the last four seasons. He’s also coming off of hip surgery. His name and reputation may get him a major league deal, but on the merits he seems like a minor league deal/major league camp invite sort of talent these days. It’d hard to picture him in a uniform other than a Giants uniform, to be honest.
There are still a handful of interesting free agent pitchers remaining on the market, highlighted by the likes of Yovani Gallardo and Doug Fister. A former two-time Cy Young Award winner is hoping to make his case to teams soon.
According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Tim Lincecum is planning to hold a showcase for interested teams in the first two weeks of February. The 31-year-old underwent surgery last September to repair a torn labrum and an impingement in his left hip, but his agent told Shea that all has gone according to plan with his rehab.
“He’s throwing every day and says he’s doing great,” said Rick Thurman of the Beverly Hills Sports Council. “He’s got no instability in his hip, and he’s enthusiastic about his progress.”
Lincecum posted a 4.13 ERA (91 ERA+) and 60/38 K/BB ratio in 76 1/3 innings over 15 starts last season and owns a 4.68 ERA (75 ERA+) dating back to 2012. He’s a bit of a lottery ticket at this point, but the hope is that his velocity and command will rebound now that his hip has been repaired.
Thurman says that nearly all 30 teams have contacted him about Lincecum, with at least 20 requesting medicals. The Giants haven’t ruled out a return, though they would only have room for him in their bullpen.