The Giants are just about done with making offseason moves, GM Bobby Evans tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Evans has been monitoring free agent Tim Lincecum, but he doesn’t anticipate a reunion since the team already boasts a star-studded starting five. Cafardo raises the idea that Lincecum could be in store for a bullpen role in 2016, but Evans’ comments make it seem as though that won’t take place in San Francisco.
Before being shut down midway through the season, Lincecum had posted a 4.13 ERA, although with a 7.1 K/9 and a high 4.5 BB/9 that were even less impressive than that modest ERA figure. His average fastball velocity also fell from 89.6 MPH in 2014 to 87.2 MPH. Lincecum will probably be forced to settle for a one-year deal as he looks to come back from hip surgery entering his age-32 season.
Here’s more from today’s column:
- “A few baseball folks” tell Cafardo that they get the sense something is brewing with Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers backstop has a limited no-trade clause, but teams such as the Astros and Nationals could have interest in adding a top catcher like Lucroy. The veteran isn’t coming off his best season, but his highly contract still makes him an attractive trade target. Lucroy is set to earn just $4MM in 2016 and $5.25MM (or a $250K buyout) in 2017.
- A few teams had concerns about the medicals on Doug Fister, one NL team official told Cafardo. Fister got a one-year, $7MM deal from the Astros, but some teams thought they could get him on a minor league deal. Fister, soon-to-be 32, could be a bounceback candidate for Houston. After several strong years in Detroit, he put up a stellar 2.41 ERA over 164 frames in 2014, his first season with the Nationals. But things went south last year, as he dealt with injury issues and lost his rotation spot after he was tagged for a 4.60 ERA and .302/.341/.471 batting line in 15 starts.
- One NL scout tells Cafardo that free agent shortstop Ian Desmond should move to third base. “I think he would be excellent there,” said the scout. “He’s a shortstop who probably doesn’t have the great range, but he’d be very good at third. He’s a great kid in the clubhouse who works hard. At some point, there has got to be a team, maybe one who has a pick at the end of the first round, who’d give that up for a guy like this.” As the former All-Star continues to sit on the open market, some have wondered if a deal could be possible with the Rays.
- Mat Latos remains on the open market in part because of a perceived attitude problem. One NL official believes that he needs some discipline to stay in line. “You would need a strong manager to keep him in line and acting the way you want him to act. A Buck Showalter, a Bruce Bochy, a Dusty Baker. The guy really competes, but he just gets too outspoken for his own good,” the official said.