After sitting out all of the 2017 season, former San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum has set himself up for a comeback. The two-time winner of the Cy Young has selected his next team, but reports show that the right-hander has come to an agreement to pitch for the Texas Rangers.
Rumors were that the Los Angeles Dodgers were also interested in signing the veteran hurler, but it appears the Rangers will sign him instead.
Lincecum flew to Arizona with the assumption by many that he would sign with a team in the Cactus League, with the Rangers and Dodgers being the most obvious choices with a few other ball clubs possibly interested.
With the Chicago Cubs signing Yu Darvish, they would not likely make a good candidate. The Cleveland Indians re-signed most of their rotation from 2017 and did not appear to be in the running. Lincecum did have a work with the Seattle Mariners, but he would only go there if no other options were available, said people close to the situation.
The Rangers happen to be in dire straits when it comes to their starting rotation and no one really knows who will be their closer this season. The Rangers will likely give a shot to Lincecum to take over that role in time. If he is successful during the first half of the season, he might become a contender for a trade at the deadline to shore up the bullpen of a contender.
The last time Lincecum actually played in a Major League Baseball game was 2016 with the Los Angeles Angels where over a run of 38 1/3 innings his ERA was 9.16 over nine games. Any team that is looking to sign him will hope for much better results after he was 2-6 in this nine starts.
Lincecum’s efforts of returning to play could pay off for the Rangers and since the Rangers will not be spending that much for his services; it is a rather safe move for a team that needs moves that are safe. He likely will work into his role as closer by being a set up pitcher and take on close situations over a period of time.
For his career, Lincecum has an ERA of 3.74 with a record of 110-89. Although the days of striking out over 250 batters per season are over, if he is able to come back and be effective he might even help a team’s rotation.