MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Facebook link) and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports each interviewed Tim Lincecum in advance of his upcoming showcase on Friday. Heyman writes that once the date for Lincecum’s showcase was announced earlier this week, executives from 23 Major League clubs reached out to Lincecum’s representatives to get details on the event. Heyman spoke to both Lincecum and his father, Chris, and inquired about the lengthy delay from the original target date of late January to early May. “I wanted to feel right and feel confident in it,” said Lincecum to Heyman. “And that’s where I’m at right now.”
The two-time NL Cy Young winner explained to Passan that the uncertainty surrounding his hip prior to undergoing surgery was unfamiliar territory after he felt “invincible” on the mound earlier in his career. “Now I kind of have an idea of the tools I get to work with and how to stay within myself and at the same time be dynamic,” said Lincecum to Passan. “I want to be explosive with certain parts of the body and not be apprehensive. It has taken time to get there.” Passan outlines Lincecum’s current workout regime, and Lincecum makes it clear to the Yahoo scribe that he is set on joining a rotation at this time. Heyman, meanwhile, lists an extensive number of clubs that will attend the workout, including the Giants, Dodgers, A’s, Rangers, Cubs, White Sox, Padres, Orioles, Nationals and Marlins. Additionally, the Pirates will have talent evaluators in attendance for Lincecum’s showcase on Friday, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets. And, notably, Heyman adds that the Yankees aren’t expected to be in attendance.
A few more notes on the free agent market…
- Left-hander Joe Beimel will audition for clubs this week as well after changing representation and hiring Frye McCann Sports, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Though he just turned 39 years of age, the well-traveled southpaw has been a quality contributor to the Mariners in each of the past two seasons, turning in 92 1/3 innings of 3.12 ERA, although his 47-to-30 K/BB ratio and 4.84 FIP in that time paint a less favorable picture. That said, Beimel has held opposing lefties to a rather feeble .226/.281/.381 batting line in those two seasons, so clubs in need of some left-handed relief depth could consider him to be worth a look.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that 29-year-old Cuban infielder Ramon Lunar has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball. Lunar, who has played primarily first base since 2011 but also was originally a third baseman and has some limited experience in left field, is currently playing with Los Tigres de Quintana Roo in the Mexican League. He’s a career .313/.414/.489 hitter in parts of seven seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, and he’s collected 10 plate appearances in Mexico thus far in 2016. Lunar has been absent from rankings of the top Cuban free agents on lists published by the likes of Baseball America and MLB.com, though as a player in his prime years that has shown a bit of pop, he could certainly garner some interest from big league clubs. Lunar is exempt from international bonus pools.
- The Twins have had top international scout Fred Guerrero watching Cuban free agent Jose Miguel Fernandez in the past two days, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Fernandez, a second baseman/third baseman known for minimal strikeout rates and strong on-base skills, is considered one of the top Cuban players on the market and is believed capable of stepping into a big league lineup in the very near future. It’s not clear how he’d fit with the Twins, so perhaps Minnesota is merely performing due diligence. It should be noted, too, that Fernandez hosted a showcase for clubs from May 2-3, and Wolfson notes that there were “many” scouts in attendance for the 28-year-old’s audition. Fernandez, like Lunar, is exempt from international bonus pools due to his age and the extent of his pro experience in Cuba.