In case you haven’t heard the most recent rumblings, the Dodgers had representatives in Seattle today to view a showcase of righty pitcher Tim Lincecum, who sat out all of the 2017 season after his attempted comeback in 2016 essentially failed.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, there were at least 10 teams in attendance on Thursday, headlined by the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox. Other clubs believed to be on-hand for the workout were the Rangers, Tigers, Brewers, Padres, Orioles, Phillies and the Giants.
The 33-year-old Lincecum has 10 big league seasons under is belt, nine of which came with the Giants. Career-wise, he has tallied a 110-89 record with a 3.74 ERA and a 3.45 FIP over 1682 innings of work. A four-time All-Star and three-time World Series Champion, Lincecum is perhaps best known around the NL West for his no-hitters against the Padres in 2013 and 2014.
After major hip surgery in 2015, he made a comeback during the 2016 campaign, signing a $2.5 million deal with the Angels. But posted a disappointing 2-6 record over nine starts, compiling a 9.14 ERA and a 7.16 FIP over 38-1/3 innings thrown. In many of his outings, he fastball never even broke the 90 MPH threshold.
However, Lincecum has recently been working with Driveline Baseball, an acclaimed data-driven player development program, and current scouting reports have Lincecum’s four-seam now sitting in the low 90s. Heyman pointed out that although “Lincecum has always preferred to start in the past, seven of his 13 postseason appearances came in relief, and some teams may be considering him for a bullpen role.”
As far as the Dodgers go, it definitely didn’t hurt to have a look at the veteran, and it probably makes sense to even offer a minor league deal, despite the likelihood of not being competitive with an offer. The thought of Lincecum being able to enter a big league camp right away is ludicrous, but signing the veteran to bolster a rotation or bullpen at the Triple-A level could be beneficial. Seeing Lincecum play a role similar to what Justin Masterson accomplished at Oklahoma City last season would not be out of the realm of possibility, so long as he’d stay healthy.
As it stands now, the headliners of the OKC rotation figure to be Walker Buehler and Brock Stewart, with Wilmer Font conceivably joining the crew if he slips through the waiver cracks and finds a way to remain with the organization.
Minor league players will hold their first full-squad workout at Camelback Ranch on March 7.