Former Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum wants to prove he can still pitch at the major league level, and he's drawn interest from numerous teams. On May 15, he reportedly made his decision and is now finalizing the terms of his next contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
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Conflicting Reports Surround Lincecum's Status With Angels
Thursday, May 19
However, ESPN's Buster Olney reported the deal is "likely" to be finished on Friday, and the base salary will be "just short" of $2 million.
On Tuesday, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported if Lincecum signs with the Angels, he's likely to spend at least 20 days in the minor leagues before being evaluated for a potential spot on the big league roster.
ESPN's Jim Bowden first reported Lincecum and the Angels had agreed to a deal Monday. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported the deal is pending a physical and he will "build up" in the minors initially.
Giants, White Sox Fall Out of Running for Lincecum
Monday, May 16
Rosenthal reported May 12 the Giants, Angels and White Sox had emerged as the clubs pursuing Lincecum the strongest.
On May 8, Heyman reported the Giants, White Sox, Angels, San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks were all believed to be interested in Lincecum after his May 6 pitching display.
Lincecum's agent, Rick Thurman, said March 7 during an appearance on The Mighty 1090 (via Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune) that the Padres were "very active" on Lincecum. On Jan. 25, Heyman reported the Padres are "among many teams" taking an interest in Lincecum.
Heyman reported Feb. 19 that 20 teams have contacted Lincecum about a potential deal.
Padres, Mariners Out on Lincecum
Thursday, May 12
Rosenthal, citing sources, reported the Padres and Seattle Mariners are "not in the mix" to acquire Lincecum.
Heyman first reported May 8 the Padres were interested in Lincecum after his pitching showcase.
Timeline for Lincecum's Decision Revealed
Monday, May 9
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported Lincecum is "expected to sign this week."
Giants Interested in Lincecum for Specific Role
Monday, May 9
USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported the Giants are still only interested in Lincecum as a reliever at this point.
Heyman first reported April 8 the Giants were interested in Lincecum in a bullpen role, though Lincecum wants to be a starter.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean told reporters Feb. 12 that Lincecum was a "long shot" to return to the Giants because he wants to start and the team is only seeking relief help. However, he added that the Giants will attend Lincecum's throwing session when that happens.
Duquette Comments on Market for Lincecum
Sunday, May 8
"I'd be surprised if Lincecum signs on the east side of the Mississippi River," Baltimore Orioles general manager Dan Duquette told MLB Network Radio, via Dan Toman of theScore. "He's going to sign with a club that needs a starter."
"The Orioles are still looking to upgrade their starting rotation, and are 'one of several teams' that have expressed interest in [Lincecum]," Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reported Feb. 4, citing an "industry source." However, Encina noted Baltimore's level of interest is "unclear."
Lincecum Pitches for Multiple Teams
Friday, May 6
Lincecum threw 41 pitches and reached 91 mph with his fastball, according to the Mercury News' Andrew Baggarly.
Lincecum's Father Comments on SP's Showcase
Thursday, Feb. 25
Lincecum's father, Chris Lincecum, spoke about the pitcher's upcoming showcase Thursday, per CSNBayArea.com's Alex Pavlovic:
We're not preparing for a showcase, we're preparing for a season and his career. The showcase is just a piece of it. Once that's over, he can go somewhere. ... We're in no hurry. The whole idea is to get him to a point where he feels confident and his strength is built up. He will continue to build up that strength. Whatever that day is, he will decide. We'll just let him do it.
Lincecum's Injury Clouded Market for Former Ace
Lincecum underwent hip surgery Sept. 3 and was one of the more interesting players available on the open market. A four-time All-Star, Lincecum has not recorded an ERA under 3.00 since 2011. Though he went 7-4, he recorded a 4.13 ERA in 2015.
"He's throwing every day and says he's doing great," Lincecum's agent Rick Thurman said, per John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. "He's got no instability in his hip, and he's enthusiastic about his progress."
Lincecum will turn 32 years old in June, and one major concern could be his velocity, especially since he is coming off hip surgery. His best pitches have been of the off-speed variety, but his fastball and command are question marks going forward. That said, he's a veteran arm who showed in 2015 that he can still win games.