Rumors regarding former San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum have been heating up over the past few weeks, and the latest reports state that he could be joining a hated rival — the Los Angeles Dodgers. While he is a few years removed from his Cy Young-caliber performances, Lincecum can be still a valuable veteran piece for a team that has playoff aspirations. Giants' fans have been pushing for the organization to bring Lincecum back, but the team appears to only view him as a reliever at this point in his career. If Lincecum does sign with the Dodgers, the rivalry with the Giants will get a whole lot more interesting.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, rumors have been surrounding Lincecum since January. While he was originally scheduled to throw a showcase in February in front of at least 20 MLB teams, it kept getting pushed back for unknown reasons. Lincecum has still not thrown the showcase, but it is finally going to happen on Friday, as reported by ESPN. Aside from the Dodgers, other notable teams that will be in attendance include the San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, and Chicago White Sox.While Lincecum's first choice is likely the Giants, he still views himself as a starting pitcher. If the Giants do not give Lincecum a chance to join their starting rotation, the odds are that he will join an organization that does. Lincecum's velocity has declined in recent years, but he is apparently looking stronger than ever. As Fox Sports reports, his fastball is regularly hitting 91 mph. While this is not exactly overpowering for a right-handed pitcher, he is a crafty veteran who can get by with great location and changing speeds.
As Yahoo Sports notes, the Dodgers are always looking to add pitching depth, and Lincecum could be exactly what they are in the market for.
"Picturing Lincecum in Dodgers blue probably sends a chill down the spine of Giants fans, but it seems plausible. The Dodgers have shown a big interest in signing pretty much every injured veteran pitcher over the past few offseasons. How else can you explain Scott Kazmir and Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy and Brandon Beachy and... you get the point. With Los Angeles, it's been all about acquiring depth. If those guys go down, ideally you have a solid option to replace them. Problem is, all of those guys went down and now Ross Stripling is a key part of the team. This isn't a knock against Stripling, he's been fine, but the Dodgers could still be looking for another possible starter just in case things go sour. Given their recent history, it's not the worst idea."
While it is probably the worst nightmare of every Giants fan, Lincecum joining the Dodgers is a real possibility. With a record of 14-13, the Dodgers are once again going to be in the mix to win the NL West. Even though Lincecum is unlikely to carry the Dodgers' pitching staff during tough times, he can be a solid piece that means the difference between a few additional wins and losses.While Lincecum's 91 mph fastball is a reason for optimism, his durability is still a concern. At only 31-years-old, Lincecum is not old for a pitcher. He is actually at the age where many pitchers are still in the prime of their careers. The problem for him has been injuries. While his arm is apparently healthy, his hip could give him issues for the remainder of his career.
If Lincecum can manage to make it through a season with a fastball averaging at least 90 mph, he can likely be successful. If his body starts wearing down and his fastball average dips below 90 mph, he is likely to run into problems. Whether or not this means that he has to permanently join the bullpen remains to be seen, but, until proven otherwise, Lincecum is a question mark for any team that signs him.
With Tim Lincecum's showcase set for Friday, rumors will continue to link him to the Los Angeles Dodgers. While Lincecum's former team, the San Francisco Giants, are still in the mix, the Dodgers could be a better fit if they allow him a chance to join the starting rotation.
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