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Report: Tim Lincecum, Texas Rangers nearing deal


UPDATE: Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that Lincecum “is deep into talks with the Texas Rangers” on a one-year major league deal, and the expectation is it gets done soon. Passan says that it’d likely be for a job in the bullpen, and that Lincecum could challenge for the Rangers’ open closer role.

12:52 PM: Jon Heyman reports that Tim Lincecum is deciding between two or three teams and is expected to sign in the next day or two. Heyman names two of the finalists: the Rangers and Lincecum’s longtime rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Heyman says Lincecum is preparing to fly to Arizona, so his decision appears imminent.

It would be weird to see Lincecum in a Dodgers jersey after seeing him for so long with the Giants, but a job’s a job. At this point, of course, the free agent Lincecum is looking to get back to the big leagues any way he can.

Lincecum has not pitched at all since 2016, and hasn’t pitched well for many, many years. He attracted a lot of attention earlier this month during a showcase in which he reportedly threw in the 90-93 mph range, however, and has since drawn considerable interest, with Heyman reporting that at least two clubs have offered him guaranteed major league deals.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.