The Rangers have granted right-hander Tim Lincecum his release, as MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan was among those to tweet. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports first broke the news that the team had decided not to promote Lincecum to the big leagues, leaving him with the choice of accepting a Triple-A assignment or granting him his release (Twitter link).
Texas signed Lincecum to a one-year, Major League deal that came with a $1MM guarantee back in March, but blister issues slowed his path back to a mound. He’s been ramping up after missing much of the early portion of the season, but things haven’t gone especially well in Triple-A Round Rock. Lincecum has totaled 12 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, yielding eight earned runs on 14 hits and nine walks with 10 strikeouts in that time.
Now, the 33-year-old former Cy Young winner will have to explore other options as he seeks to return to the Majors for the first time since a brief, ill-fated tenure with the Angels in 2016. Lincecum endured a precipitous decline during which he saw his fastball velocity plummet before ultimately requiring a major hip surgery that has prevented him from since reestablishing himself at the big league level. He’d been working exclusively as a reliever with the Rangers organization, and it seems likely that he’ll continue on that path if he ultimately latches on with a new organization.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels had nothing but praise for the amount of effort Lincecum put into his comeback attempt, telling reporters (Twitter link via Sullivan): “Despite good intentions and a lot of hard work, we didn’t feel it was the right move to bring Tim up here.”