Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that Tim Lincecum is closing in on a deal with the Angels. Passan said the Giants and White Sox, who were in the mix previously, are now out.
Lincecum would fit well into a decimated Angels rotation, still dealing with the loss of Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney. The Angels last week picked up Jhoulys Chacin in a trade from the Braves, but any additional arms would help. For Lincecum’s part the chance to start, instead of come out of the bullpen, has been reported as a top priority.
Lincecum pitched in only 15 games last year and has been a free agent since last fall as he recovered from hip surgery. He pitched in a showcase for multiple teams a couple of weeks ago, and the Angels apparently liked what they saw.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Tim Lincecum‘s best options appear to be starting jobs with the White Sox or Angels, or a relief job with the Giants. The Padres and Mariners are not in the running, according to an earlier report.
Lincecum, who turns 32 years old next month, held a showcase for interested teams last week. His last four seasons have been underwhelming, to say the least of the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Between 2012-15, Lincecum posted a 4.68 ERA with a 577/267 K/BB ratio in 615 2/3 innings.
Reports indicate that Lincecum’s preference is to stay on the West coast, which puts the Angels and Giants ahead of the White Sox. Lincecum’s prior relationship with the Giants — which included three championships — likely puts them in the lead.
Tim Lincecum held his long-awaited showcase last week and is, presumably, negotiating with various clubs at the moment. Some have suspected that he’ll want to stay on the west coast and many thought that his hometown teams, the Seattle Mariners, would be a potential destination for him as well.
The former is still possible, but the latter has been ruled out, it seems. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Padres and Mariners are not in the mix for Lincecum.
Lincecum reportedly wants to start, and it would seem that neither of those are an option for him in that regard. There is reportedly interest from the Giants, but only as a reliever, despite the fact that the back end of their rotation is a mess. The Angels just acquired Jhoulys Chacin, but they could probably still use a starter. Possibly the Dodgers as well, though they have a few pitchers expected to come off the disabled list in the coming weeks, so it’s hard to say how interested they’d be.
But San Diego and Seattle seem to be out.
When a pitcher doesn’t sign anywhere before or during spring training people sometimes wring their hands a bit, but it’s usually the case that they’ll be OK if they are patient. Once the season starts guys start going down with injuries left and right or show that they’re ineffective. In such cases, a free agent pitcher’s value goes way up. He’s a relatively low cost option for a team which, a month ago, seemed set but is now suddenly desperate.
Tim Lincecum may benefit from that dynamic.
As we noted earlier today, the Angels’ rotation is a hot mess now that Garrett Richards is out for the year and Andrew Heaney‘s absence may be just as extended. The back end of the Giants’ rotation is likewise a mess. Lincecum was never seriously on San Francisco’s radar this past winter, but given how Matt Cain and Jake Peavy are going, those crazy kids may get back together. The Dodgers could use a pitcher and their competition with the Giants may make this whole situation a lot more profitable for Lincecum than it might have otherwise been.
Of course, Lincecum still has to show that he can pitch and that he’s healthy. That’s why he’s having the showcase, that goes down here very shorty — 2:30 eastern time — and you can watch it streaming live at CSNBayArea.com.
At long last, the Tim Lincecum showcase has an official date: this Friday, May 6 in Scottsdale, according to CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic (citing a report from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman). Lincecum, still a free agent, has been allowed to throw at the Giants’ facility in Arizona.
Lincecum, 31, has reportedly still drawn the interest in at least half the league. San Francisco remains Lincecum’s preferred landing spot, however, per Pavlovic.
The right-hander showed better results in 15 starts last season after three consecutive tough campaigns. He finished the 2015 season with a 4.13 ERA and a 60/38 K/BB ratio in 76 1/3 innings. Given how starting pitching is always in demand, Lincecum should walk away with a handful of offers.