It's probably pretty safe to assume that familiarity and comfort mean a lot to Tim Lincecum. A chance to be a starting pitcher again, though, apparently means a bit more. Lincecum is reportedly about to make a decision about his home this season. It's not going to be the Giants.
According to Jeff Passan, the Angels are going to sign Lincecum to a one-year, major league contract. As over half of their rotation was recently eaten by sand worms, they had an immediate opening, and they could make promises the Giants could not. It's time to start rooting for Lincecum in another uniform, which is going to be just the weirdest thing.
The Angels are a solid fit for a pitcher looking to rebuild his value before hitting free agency again in the following offseason. Angel Stadium is a fairly extreme pitcher's park, and they have one of the stronger defenses in baseball so far this year. They're fading in the AL West race, but they're still just 5½ games out of first, which isn't completely insurmountable. As long as they, to put it in sports terms, connect with a short-handed hail mary from half court. Lincecum is that hail mary, a formerly great pitcher available for discount prices. Sure, it's been several years since he was above-average, but blaming everything on the hip made me feel optimistic, at least.
As for the Giants, they'll stick with Jake Peavy and a Clayton Blackburn in a glass case. It's possible that Chris Heston reclaims his early 2015 form, that Andrew Suarez takes to Double-A even better than hoped, that Adalberto Mejia impresses everyone over the next month, et cetera. Keep plugging the holes with spackle and duct tape, and hope everything is still afloat in July, when there are pitchers on the trade market.
Until then, get used to the idea of Tim Lincecum in an Angels uniform. He could have pitched well for the Dodgers. He could have pitched so poorly for the Giants that the Dodgers would have stolen the division. There were worse outcomes. That doesn't mean you have to be happy with him on the Angels, but just know it could have been so much worse.
As is, I'm a-rooting for him. Twenty starts, a 2.58 ERA, and a $80 million contract in the offseason. Do something useful for once, Angels
At least the story is dead.
If Lincecum proves himself and returns to free agency, could Giants be interested as starter for next season? Absolutely. Peavy contract up.— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) May 16, 2016
Ha ha, just kidding. This story is immortal, just like Lincecum. We'll see you back here in November.