Sabean says he’s not likely to trade Tim Lincecum

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A lot of people have speculated that the Giants would entertain trades for Tim Lincecum. The once-great, now in transition starter is under contract through the end of the year and many assumed the Giants would see what they could get for him. Maybe as a change-of-scenery candidate for someone. Maybe as a Smoltzian stint as a reliever.

Brian Sabean is not really inclined in that direction. He said this on KNBR radio yesterday:

“I expect Timmy to be in a Giant uniform,” Sabean said. “I find it hard to believe he’ll pitch elsewhere this year. … We need him to get back in this thing.”

I think that the usual track record for comments like that probably end with the player in question staying in town at about a 60-40 rate, but it may carry a bit more weight with Lincecum and the Giants. It’s rare that the Giants put up the white flag. And it’s not out of the question to think that Lincecum could regain his form at some point and prove himself valuable to the Giants.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.