2:33pm: Lincecum is “deep in talks” with Texas, with an expectation that the sides will finalize a deal, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Passan speculates that Lincecum could move to the pen and perhaps even compete for the still-open closer’s job.
That general plan would appear to fit the Rangers’ desire for multi-inning relievers.
10:54am: Free-agent righty Tim Lincecum is nearing a decision on where he’ll attempt his comeback, according to a report from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. The Dodgers and Rangers are two of the final organizations being considered by Lincecum, who is said to be weighing major-league offers from those and other clubs.
It has seemed for a while that Lincecum would earn a 40-man spot after putting on an impressive showcase. Certainly, though, it’s notable that multiple organizations are angling to land him after he sat out for all of 2017. Heyman notes that the 33-year-old received “some interest” from most of the teams that watched him throw.
Lincecum’s days as an ace are a distant memory at this point; since the start of 2012, he owns a 4.94 ERA in 654 innings in the majors. He already scuffled in one comeback effort following hip surgery, with a mediocre showing with the Angles in 2016. Indeed, it really was not even clear whether Lincecum would play again until recently.
Clearly, then, interested organizations are basing their assessment less on Lincecum’s past — glorious though it was — than they are on observing his current ability levels. What’ll be most interesting, perhaps, is to see whether Lincecum is able to command not only a meaningful guarantee but also a real shot at earning a rotation spot. It is not known what the veteran hurler is looking for in choosing his next team, but he seems to have enough leverage to make the potential role a real factor.