The Padres have spoken to Tim Lincecum’s agent and will have scouts in attendance to see the righty throw in a showcase scheduled for later in February, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Rick Thurman, Lincecum’s agent, said he’d talked to the Padres “a number of times” but had also been in contact with “quite a few other teams” as well, with at least 20 teams requesting Lincecum’s medical information. There seems to be enough interest that, provided Lincecum’s showcase goes well, he should be able to land his desired Major League contract. If such a deal is found with San Diego, the Padres could line Lincecum up as their fourth or fifth starter and move one of their many other back-of-the-rotation candidates into the bullpen. Here’s some more from around the NL West…
- Johnny Cueto’s extra workload from the Royals’ postseason run will slightly impact how the Giants treat him in camp, pitching coach Dave Righetti tells Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s been through some playoff situations, but when you go to the World Series you go the extra mile,” Righetti said. “We know it takes stuff out of guys regardless of how young and strong they are….So, absolutely, you would monitor him anyway. Being that he pitched an extra month, you’re darn right.”
- Conor Gillaspie has regrets over his first stint with the Giants, telling reporters (including Schulman) that “obviously, I was young and probably not mentally or physically or socially where I needed to be” when he broke in with San Francisco as a rookie. Now back with the team on a minor league deal, Gillaspie feels he’s matured and is thankful to the Giants for giving him a chance.
- Matt Cain has gone from a cornerstone to an x-factor with the Giants, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News writes, as both the team and the pitcher are hopeful but measured about what Cain can deliver in 2016. Injuries played a role in Cain’s rough last two seasons, though beyond health, his sudden propensity for allowing homers didn’t help Cain’s faith in himself.
- Julio Urias is facing a lot of pressure as both arguably the game’s top pitching prospect and maybe even “the next Fernando Valenzuela,” though Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown relates how the 19-year-old Dodgers phenom is trying to take his development step by step.