The Mets have nothing to lose taking a look at Tim Lincecum
In a low-risk, high-reward situation, the Mets might just want to give “The Freak” an opportunity to show what he can do
Once on top of the world, Tim Lincecum has now been kicked to the sidelines. “The Freak” didn’t pitch last season, and many thought they wouldn’t see him again. He has other plans however, as he attempts to make another MLB comeback.
Practicing in Driveline facilities, Rockies RHP Adam Ottavino posted a photo of Lincecum training on Instagram, looking pretty fit. It was later confirmed that he will hold a showcase February 15th, the day after Valentines Day, to just teams and scouts. If the Mets are serious about acquiring starting pitching with relatively cheap deals, giving Tim Lincecum a look, and maybe a true chance, might be something they should try out.
The 33-year old is looking to impress anyone who will give him a chance at redeeming himself. He averaged 200+ innings and 15 wins from 2008-2011 with the San Francisco Giants, winning two back-to-back Cy Young awards. He also pitched two no-hitters while as a Giant. Over the past few years, he has struggled mightily, posting an inconsistent ERA above 4.00. After having hip surgery in 2015, he signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2016. Lincecum logged an overwhelming 9.16 ERA, struck out 32 and walked 23 in just nine games. To take it further, he averaged 7.5 K/9 innings while walking 5.4 per 9. His once dominating fastball, reaching 94-95 MPH, went down to just 87.7 MPH.
Given a chance to find himself, he appears to be throwing hard again, although it’s unknown at what velocity. With a slow free agent period, the Mets going after Lincecum would be wise, just for the curiosity factor. Before, he could grab a deal with record numbers. Now, the league minimum is where negotiating starts, and it would most likely be a minor league deal. That’s exactly what Sandy Alderson and company are looking for.
If the Mets were to give him a chance, it could go one of two ways. On one hand, he impresses in Spring Training enough that they keep him around for a few months. If valuable, he has a shot at securing a spot on the major league roster. On the other hand, if it doesn’t work out, he doesn’t become a true liability based off of his deal. It’s a low-risk, high-reward type of deal that would be quite a sight to see.
Another thing Lincecum would provide is some veteran leadership. He will also be willing to learn from those around him. New manager Mickey Callaway has a history of struggling pitchers in Cleveland, and would attempt to get into the mind of Lincecum. Pitchers who have almost completely lost it have managed to have a second life. Names that come to mind are Scott Kazmir, Rich Hill, Jamie Moyer and Bartolo Colon.
Tim Lincecum most likely won’t have a sub-2.00 ERA or strike out 12 batters in a game like his heyday. An opportunity to show he can still produce to the best of his ability is something to look into. It will be an unpredictable situation, but sometimes you have to take risks to find results.
What do you think, Flushing Faithful? Should the Mets give “Big Time Timmy Jim” the time of day?