After battling arm troubles for much of last summer and undergoing hip surgery in September, starting pitcher Tim Lincecum hit free agency at the conclusion of the 2015 season and remained on the market until Thursday. He reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after clearing medicals.
Lincecum’s deal is reported to feature a base worth around $2 million and include over $1 million in additional incentives. The deal is expected to be officially announced on Friday.
Lincecum — who hasn’t appeared in a game since June — threw over 40 pitches during a showcase at the beginning of May that was attended by representatives and scouts from over 20 major-league teams. During the showcase, Lincecum’s fastball clocked in in the 90-to-92 MPH range. In 76.1 innings last season, Lincecum’s fastball averaged 87.5 MPH and climaxed at 90.4.
The Angels’ rotation has been configured time and time again thus far in 2016, and the changes made have not been the effects of positive motives. Although his right ulnar collateral ligament is extensively damaged, Garrett Richards has opted to receive stem cell injections in an effort to rehab his elbow without a reconstructive surgery. Even if the injections were to work with complete efficiency and effectiveness, it’s unlikely that Richards would return prior to August. Andrew Heaney is receiving similar injections in his left elbow, as he, too, has a damaged UCL, though the degree of the tear is not considered as severe as Richards’.
The 31-year-old Lincecum was the San Francisco Giants’ first pick in the 2006 draft, and he made his major-league debut in May of 2007. Lincecum logged over 210 innings and whiffed over 220 batters each season from 2008 to 2011 with the Giants and took home the National League Cy Young Award in 2008 and again in 2009, when he ranked second among qualified NL pitchers in earned run average with a 2.62 and 2.48, respectively.
Lincecum helped the Giants secure World Series titles in 2010, 2012, and 2014. In 56.1 cumulative postseason innings of work in his career, Lincecum has worked to a 2.40 ERA and recorded 65 punchouts.
Lincecum is likely to be a month or so away from returning to a major-league pitching mound since he has not done so in nearly a year. Expect Lincecum to log some innings in the minor leagues to get back in the swing of things prior to joining the Angels’ pitching staff.