While former San Francisco Giants ace pitcher Tim Lincecum remains unsigned after Friday's pitching showcase, rumors are heating up regarding his potential suitors. Soon to turn 32-years-old, Lincecum is no longer the pitcher that he once was during his earlier years with the Giants. Regardless of his declining skills, Lincecum knows how to pitch, and MLB insiders believe that he can help a playoff team this season. After sending scouts to watch Lincecum's showcase, the latest rumors are saying that he could sign with the Boston Red Sox.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Lincecum has been linked to over 20 different MLB teams, notably the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants. While Lincecum's name was commonly connected to the Yankees over the past few months, they actually did not send a scout to watch him pitch. The Giants remain interested, but sources say they currently only see him as an option out of the bullpen. The Dodgers have an abundance of pitching already, but they seem to always be looking to add additional help.Regardless of the interest from the other large market teams, the Red Sox may be the most attractive destination for Lincecum this year. With a record of 17-13, the Red Sox are playing some of the best baseball in the competitive AL East. As Boston.com notes, the Red Sox already have one of the top starting rotations in all of baseball.
"With such fluidity at the bottom of starting rotations, using the top of the rotation is a better judge of rotation strength at this point. When doing so, the Red Sox grade out well, not only in their results but also in their process. Wright and Porcello have performed better than expected, and once Price rights the ship and Rodriguez returns, Boston may just end up with one of the better rotations in the American League."
Since the Red Sox starting rotation is somewhat overachieving so far, Lincecum could be viewed as an insurance policy. While his goal is still to join a starting rotation, he also wants a chance to join a winning team. If he has the option to choose between starting for a poor team or pitching out of the bullpen for a competitive team, he may very well opt for the better team.
Comcast Sportsnet New England confirms that the Red Sox were in attendance for Lincecum's recent showcase. Whether or not they remain interested in him remains to be seen, but there appears to be nothing in the showcase that would turn off any of the potential suitors. While Lincecum's fastball regularly hit 95 mph or higher in his earlier years, it has been declining in speed in recent years.As reported by ESPN, Lincecum's fastball ranged from 88 to 91 mph. One of his fastballs clocked in at 92 mph. While these are not overpowering speeds for a right-handed pitcher, they are an improvement from last season. His recent hip injury caused his fastball to decline to speeds as low as 85 mph, which is not going to get any MLB hitter out. Lincecum can survive on a 90 mph fastball, but his command is going to have to be perfect. His changeup and other secondary pitchers are also going to have to be sharp.
While Lincecum is still recently viewed as one of the top pitchers in the MLB, his last great season came in 2011. For whatever reason, his body started to break down in 2012, and he has never regained his former elite stuff. Still, now that his hip is healthy, Lincecum could reinvent himself. While he is getting older, he could potentially pitch for another five or more years if he can figure out how to get by with his reduced velocity.
Until former San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum signs with his next team, rumors will continue to link him to the Boston Red Sox. While Lincecum may have to start in the bullpen for the Red Sox, it may be his best opportunity to rejuvenate his career.
[Photo by Don Feria/Getty Images]