MAY 19: Lincecum is taking a physical for the Angels today and, if and when he passes, his deal with the team will be complete, reports Passan (Twitter link). Lincecum will head to the minors to build up endurance, per Passan, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds that the expectation is that he’ll need about 25 days to do so (links to Twitter). Also, per Sherman, the deal will not be official for another 48 to 72 hours, which aligns well with the fact that he’s getting his medical work done now.
MAY 18: The sides are still moving toward a deal, but likely won’t finalize things today, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (Twitter link).
MAY 17, 3:46pm: The two sides are indeed moving closer to a deal, but they’re “still working through a few issues” and the deal isn’t quite finished, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
2:39pm: Right-hander Tim Lincecum is “leaning toward” signing with the Angels and could wrap up a deal today, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Meanwhile, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the two sides are “closing in” on a deal, adding that the White Sox and Giants are out of the mix (links to Twitter). Passan adds that the dollars remain unknown, but the deal being discussed is a Major League pact. Lincecum is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
Lincecum, 32 in a month, underwent season-ending hip surgery early last September and spent the offseason recovering from the procedure. Initial reports pegged his first showcase for teams in late January to early February, but the audition was ultimately pushed back until early May. More than 20 clubs were said to have watched Lincecum throw back on May 6, though the three clubs listed by Passan above were the primary clubs said to have interest. ESPN’s Eric Longenhagen wrote following the showcase that Lincecum sat in the upper 80s to low 90s with his fastball and displaying a slider that looked above-average at times, a “generally average” curveball and a more inconsistent changeup.
Whether Lincecum can succeed as a starter in the Majors following the operation remains to be seen. While he was, of course, one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball shortly after his arrival on the scene in the Majors (back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008-09 and a 2.81 ERA in 881 2/3 innings from 2008-11), his production has deteriorated since his velocity began to drop off in 2012. Since that time, Lincecum has a 4.68 ERA in 615 2/3 innings of work, and his most recent big league action, last season, came with a fastball that averaged 87.2 mph in his 76 1/3 innings of work. Lincecum did have a very successful 2011 season sitting at about 92 mph with his fastball, so he doesn’t necessarily need the heater that averaged 94+ mph when he first broke into the Majors in order to succeed. However, the upper 80s and low 90s have been where he’s struggled for much of the past four seasons, so it’d be nice for the Halos if the velocity he showed at his audition continued to tick upward as he gets into game action.
Lincecum was said to be throwing about 90 pitches per outing in simulated games, though I’d imagine that he’ll still require some time in the minor leagues to re-acclimate with a game setting at the professional level. His preference all along has seemingly been to return to a rotation, and of the listed clubs, the injury-ravaged Angels present the clearest opportunity for him to do just that. The Angels have lost ace Garrett Richards to a significant elbow issue, while left-hander Andrew Heaney is on the DL indefinitely and is said to have some damage to his own UCL. Fellow left-hander C.J. Wilson has yet to pitch in 2016 and isn’t expected back for another month or so, and former ace Jered Weaver is sporting a 6.10 ERA with a fastball that is averaging just north of 82 mph this season. Meanwhile, rehabbing southpaw Tyler Skaggs has seen his return from Tommy John surgery slowed by other arm difficulties and hasn’t been pitching in game settings recently.
Suffice it to say, the Halos could use all the rotation depth they can get. A trade for Jhoulys Chacin last week helped to address the need to some extent, but with what figures to be a fairly reasonable price tag and an enormously attractive pedigree, Lincecum makes sense for the Angels as an upside play. Even in the event that he simply pitches more like a capable fourth starter than the ace he once was, Lincecum would be a dramatic improvement to the club’s rotation picture. And, if he continues to exhibit the same struggles he’s had in recent seasons, it’ll be easier for the Halos to move on than it would have been for a club like the Giants, with whom Lincecum has a storied history that could make a split between the two sides difficult from a public relations standpoiint.
In more shocking news, water is wet, the sun is hot, and dirt is dirty.
If you read this in Jeremy Clarkson’s voice, it becomes that much funnier
🙁 I thought big Papi was back on MLBTR…
I just thought he returned too, only to realize it was my poorly chosen username
Finally this had to happen but dang we suck.
Well at this point, the Angels need a boost from anywhere, hopefully Tim can do it, but it still looks pretty grim for the Halos.
Chacin impressed in his first start and if we can get Lincecum to provide 18-20 starts of 4 ERA pitching, I think that would be valuable. Offense looked good this weekend, really need to not stall out for the foreseeable future.
Hey, I mean, Chacin pitched well and they swept the Mariners. This can help, right? The Angels will have a resurgence like the Rangers did last season.
Lohse would had been a safer bet…
not exactly “a major deal”
Your right. Not a major deal at all
Point is that it’s a major league contract, as opposed to a minor league deal. But the fact that we needed to point that out suggests that it isn’t a hugely significant signing. Then again, for this time of year, it’s about as exciting as it gets.
Official announcement at 4:20
“Lincecum sat in the upper 80s to low 90s with his fastball and displaying a slider that looked above-average at times, a “generally average” curveball and a more inconsistent slider.”
Was the change up accidentally omitted or does he not throw it anymore?
Whoops. Changeup is the inconsistent one. Updating. Thanks.
His changeup is actually a splitter.
What is it- a split-change? Doesn’t King Felix throw something like that as well? Is it more split or more change?
It’s just a split finger which he calls a change. Typically a change is held differently but in reality they both fool a hitter into thinking it’s a fastball and it just drops out of the zone. I think from memory Timmy’s Split/Change falls down and in to a right hander but maybe someone can clarify.
Krukow will often introduce Timmy and as he goes through his pitches will say “he throws a split finger, he calls it a change up”.
Either way, happy he might have an MLB deal, very excited to see what happens from here and I really hope he does well, he’s a class act that guy.
I’ll always be rooting for him and now I guess I have an extra MLB team to watch and cheer for. Don’t know how I’m going to watch all these extra games!
Thanks Steve. That’s a shame, he used to throw a good one.
Go HALOS oh wait go braves #not so halo nation
If Lincecum can come back healthy and eat some innings, would really help the angels out. If they do sign him, I would send shoemaker back down to triple A.
Best case scenario he comes in and pitches lights out and the Angels can flip him at the deadline (cause I am a realist and imagine they will be way out of it at that point) for a couple prospects.
I will only wish the best for Timothy Leroy Lincecum! In 08 and 09, he was the only reason to watch Giants baseball.. After 40 years of fandom, he was the key factor in my first (second and third) World Series celebration! He also embodied the San Francisco attitude and lifestyle..
Good luck Timmy!!
This is going to be the most overblown free agent signing in history if Lincecum doesn’t do well. Hoping to see something resembling a resurgence for him because of how fun it was to watch him pitch… but if not, he’s dangerously close to being an abnormally young flameout.
Ace of Spades
His mechanics and height/ drop in velocity made him drop off so quickly. He probably won’t even make a million in this deal, low risk high reward deal, not overblown at all imo
I mean with who he is, and all the hoopla about his showcase and all… if he gets hurt right away or shelled the amount of time we’ve spent thinking about it will look kind of silly. Probably the most marketed reclaim project signing ever.
He’s had quite the career trajectory. I hope he does well if/when the Angels sign him.
Been waiting for the halos to pull the trigger on him. I think Timmy has needed a change of scenery for quite some time. Angels pitcher friendly BP will also be beneficial.
“Hurr durr… Championship LOL… Hurr durr…” MLBTR covers every transaction.
While I generally agree with your premise, please watch the language.
Your right. Not a “major deal” at all
come on white sox swoop in here to bolster the rotation
I’m telling people this. The Angels aren’t actually going to sign him.
Angels going all the way to the World Series bay bay!!!!
Angels 2016 World Series Champions!!!!
They will need more than a washed up pitcher.
No chat this Tuesday? Steve’s slacking
If he can give us innings and help us not rely on that bullpen so much, good signing
Believe Garrett Richards is rehabbing his elbow vs Tommy John?
At the time the original post was written, reports said he was having the surgery. But I modified it.
What’s the under/over on Moreno developing Buyer’s Remorse again? 90 days? Pujols? Hamilton? Weaver? When will this fool of an owner ever learn? The Freak has seen his best days! He’s completely burned out! Wishful thinking is not going to turn back the miles on his arm. The way he threw the ball was not natural. He’s toast. I wish him well but unless he finds the fountain of youth he’s done. Just one last pay day!
How much money do you honestly think he’s making? It’s nowhere close to those other contacts you just mentioned. He won’t need buyer’s remorse, because they can just release him if he struggles
You obviously haven’t seen the Angels rotation lately.
Lincecum’s obstinance about relieving is a little short-sighted. Yes, re;lievers make less money but he was fairly good in that role. He could be a classic swingman, which all teams need but few have. Lincecum’s made plenty of money at this point; if he still has the competitive desire to pitch he should go where his stuff might play up. Starting in the American league with his diminished velo is probably not going to end well.
Matt Harvey is available for a sack of used baseballs. To give these pitchers $200 million dollar contracts is insanity.