Tim Lincecum Trade Rumors: 5 MLB Teams That'll Fight over the Giants' Former Ace
Tim Lincecum's 2012 certainly has not gone according to plan even though the San Francisco Giants have reached the World Series. Now there's a possibility that he will spend 2013 with a new team. Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe has noted that Lincecum will be available in a trade this winter.
In a conversation with John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle, Giants GM Brian Sabean seemingly refuted the idea and made it likely that there will be a spot for Lincecum on the Giants next season.
Even though Lincecum has struggled this year (a 5.18 ERA in the regular season), he is still a two-time Cy Young award winner. He also was able to start turning things around in the second half, posting a 3.83 ERA after the All-Star Break.
The Giants' former ace has one year and $22 million left on his contract, which means that only a big-market team could likely afford to deal for him. Despite his struggles and contract, Lincecum would command a high price because he is the type of pitcher that has the ability to take over a game.
Boston Red Sox
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After getting rid of a ton of salary this season, the Boston Red Sox have the ability to take on a large contract. They are in desperate need of pitching help and they could turn to the trade market to find an ace.
Tim Lincecum would be a great fit for the Red Sox as they try to turn things around. Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald has previously suggested that the Red Sox deal Jacoby Ellsbury for Lincecum.
That deal has the potential to be a win-win. Boston would immediately improve their rotation and they could lock Lincecum up with an extension if he returns to his previous production levels. Ellsbury would be a solid fit in the Giants' outfield and could become a great addition to the team's core.
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Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch wants to win a World Series title in the next few years. Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News has noted that Ilitch is willing to spend whatever it takes to win a title. If the team falls to the San Francisco Giants this year, he could look to acquire one of their players.
Adding Tim Lincecum to a starting rotation that already includes Justin Verlander could make for one of the best one-two punches that baseball has seen in a long time. The move would make the Tigers World Series favorites if Victor Martinez comes back at full strength.
To acquire Lincecum, the Tigers would likely need to build a package around top third base prospect Nick Castellenos. While this would be a high price to pay, it would be worthwhile if the Tigers win a title.
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The Texas Rangers have come close to winning the World Series title over the past three seasons, but they have not been able to seal the deal. It appears that the Rangers may be one piece away from being World Champions.
A lot of the Rangers' offseason will depend on what happens with Josh Hamilton. If he leaves and Texas is able to fill his spot with an internal option like Mike Olt, then they can spend money on pitching.
Tim Lincecum could be a fit for the Rangers as he would slot in ahead of Yu Darvish in their starting rotation. By adding Lincecum, the Rangers could then have no qualms about moving Neftali Feliz back to the bullpen.
Martin Perez could prove to be a good starting point for the two teams during a discussion about Lincecum. It is possible that the deal could be straight up, but there is also the chance that the Rangers need to add a lower-level prospect into the mix.
Los Angeles Dodgers
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The Los Angeles Dodgers ownership has already pulled off a number of big deals this year. They brought in Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Shane Victorino during the 2012 season.
With a new ownership group that is willing to go after the big-name players that it takes to win, it is hard to count the Dodgers out of any trade discussion that includes a star.
Other than Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers' starting rotation does not have a real shutdown starter. Tim Lincecum could come in and fill that need for them.
Because the Dodgers are in the same division as the Giants, they would need to pay a premium for Lincecum if the Giants decided that they would deal him to their biggest rivals.
Even though the Dodgers have traded a number of prospects recently, they still have the assets to pull of a deal for Lincecum. Zach Lee could be sent to San Francisco along with Alfredo Silverio and another prospect to pull off a deal.
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After their run to the postseason in 2012, the Baltimore Orioles have proven that they can be contenders in the American League East. With Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado ready to make an impact in 2013, the Orioles have a chance to be the American League representative in the World Series.
Starting pitching was one of the weak spots for the Orioles this past year and they are without a true ace. Acquiring Tim Lincecum would be a risky move for them, but it would pay off if they go on to win the World Series.
One name that would certainly come up in any talks between the Orioles and the San Francisco Giants about Tim Lincecum would have to be Jonathan Schoop. The young infielder would be the centerpiece of any trade for the Giants' starter.