Tim Lincecum held his long-awaited showcase on Friday afternoon at Scottsdale Stadium, the Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants. The environment was of course a familiar one for the right-hander, as he spent the past nine seasons with San Francisco.
However, the setting and circumstances were not. Coming off a season in which a hip injury limited him to just 15 starts, Friday’s throwing session was the first Lincecum completed in front of scouts, executives and other team personnel since undergoing hip surgery last September.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were among the several teams who had a presence at the showcase. Lincecum threw 41 pitches over two innings — 20 in the first, and 21 in the second — uncorking his full arsenal of pitches (fastball, cutter, slider, curveball, changeup).
According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dodgers have interest in the 31-year-old right-hander, though Lincecum isn’t holding firm to remaining on the West Coast:
He told me he doesn’t need to pitch on the West Coast, that he’s at a point in his career he’s willing to go anywhere. But let it be known the Angels had several officials at the showcase and have legitimate interest. The Dodgers are in the mix, too, and plenty of other teams were in attendance with rotation holes.
Lincecum also said he’s seeking a one-year contract at present time:
Lincecum said he wants a one-year deal, to prove himself before seeking any long-term arrangements. That could make negotiations easier and quicker, and the Lincecum camp is anticipating fast-paced activity.
Another factor in negotiations is Lincecum’s belief he’s already prepared to pitch in the Minors:
“I want to make sure I’m ready for whoever needs me,” said Lincecum, insisting he’s ready to pitch five or six innings in a Triple-A game.
Lincecum went 108-83 with a 3.61 ERA, 3.36 FIP and 1.27 WHIP in 269 games (261 starts) over his career with the Giants. He was 7-4 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.48 WHIP during an injury-shorten 2015, all the while battling hip trouble.
Lincecum’s left hip was repaired by shaving down bone to allow greater range of motion, also improving stability, and by reattaching a partially torn labrum. Although Lincecum’s desire is to start, there’s speculation he may be utilized out of the bullpen.
The Dodgers certainly have question marks at the back of their rotation, but Mike Bolsinger, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu are all making steady progress toward a return.
However, Dodgers’ spending power and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s belief is stockpiling pitching depth figure to make them a team to watch for Lincecum’s services.