Fielding questions about the Orioles’ interest in Tim Lincecum, executive VP Dan Duquette downplayed that likelihood and provided some hints as to the market’s development, as Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports. In Duquette’s view, Lincecum is likely to sign with a west coast club and is likely to get a shot at a rotation. “He’s going to sign with a club that needs a starter,” said the O’s top baseball decisionmaker. “That’s what he wants to do, and I’m confident he’s going to get that opportunity.”
- The Diamondbacks are a theoretical suitor with a geographic match, but the club does not appear likely to get involved on Lincecum, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweets. While GM Dave Stewart says that the organization had scouts on hand for the showcase, he went on to say, “I don’t see us going any steps further.” Lincecum appears to be drawing fairly wide interest, but it’s still not clear which team will make him a handshake agreement of a starting role. We had heard that the 31-year-old could reach a decision over the weekend after his showcase on Friday, but that obviously didn’t happen.
- Last we checked in, veteran reliever Joe Nathan was still set on a comeback, and Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets an update. Nathan, who’s recovering from Tommy John surgery, is beginning a throwing program. There’s apparently at least some hope that he’ll be ready for game action by July 1st, though it would be pretty surprising to see him in the majors anywhere near that soon if he’s only now ramping up.
- Cuban righty Johan Oviedo is opening some eyes, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez tweets. An 18-year-old with a big frame, Oviedo is said to be working in the mid-nineties with his fastball, though of course scouts will be looking for quite a bit more than just that. He’s eligible to sign, but will be subject to bonus pool restrictions.
- Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star provides an interesting look at the question of how the talent flow from Cuba to the majors may impact the game on the island. At present, stakeholders on the island merely watch as their best players depart, receiving no compensation. It’s certainly fair to raise doubts about the long-term impacts of that set of incentives, to say nothing of the other issues that have arisen in player movement out of Cuba. Of course, all indications are that a new system will be installed, but it remains to be seen how it’ll be structured.