Jon Heyman has reported that Tim Lincecum will sign a major league deal with the Texas Rangers:
Lincecum, once described by Fox Sports as “a local legend and crowd favorite” of San Francisco Giants fans, will now hope to rejuvenate his career with the Rangers as a reliever, perhaps even as the closer.
Lincecum had hip surgery after the 2015 season and attempted a comeback with the Angels in 2016. It ended after nine starts with a 9.16 ERA. Lincecum, 33, did not pitch in 2017.
Lincecum won the National League Cy Young Award in 2008 and 2009 and was a four-time All-Star, but his last effective season as a starter came in 2011. From 2012 to 2016, his ERA was 4.94 with 1.459 walks plus hits per nine innings.
Once described by the Sacramento Bee as a sports figure who was as viscerally beloved as Joe Montana, Lincecum’s small size and unorthodox delivery made him an unlikely figure to have reached the apex of his sport.
Lincecum was known for his long stride, unorthodox mechanics, and ability to generate high velocity despite his slight build — he is listed as 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds — and earned the nickname “The Freak” from his teammates at the University of Washington.
Attempting his second comeback, Lincecum is relying on his current ability levels, not on his laurels, to become a viable pitcher in the big leagues.
Lincecum held a throwing session for as many as 20 scouts during a workout in Seattle on February 15. Chris Chavez of Sports Illustrated says that the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers were among the teams that were interested in Lincecum after he impressed some scouts with his fastball velocity.
However, it is the Texas Rangers who have offered Lincecum a deal, the details of which have yet to be disclosed. It appears Lincecum will be coming out of the bullpen for the Rangers, and may vie for the closer’s job.