Technically speaking, there was a higher chance of Shohei Ohtani signing with the Giants than of Tim Lincecum signing with the Dodgers. The Giants were one of six finalists in that showcase; there are 10 teams curious about Lincecum. If he throws well enough to impress the Dodgers, he’ll have thrown well enough to impress those other teams. This is nothing more than naked scaremongering.
On the other hand, it takes just one sentence to gross me out beyond words:
The longtime-rival Dodgers, plus the Yankees and Red Sox, are among at least 10 teams known to have signaled that they will be there in out-of-the-way Seattle to see whether he still has it — or whether there are enough signs that he still can regain it.
Tim Lincecum coming out of the bullpen for the Dodgers.
Tim Lincecum making a spot start for the Dodgers when one of their pitchers is on the 10-day General Fatigue List, which is every week.
Tim Lincecum shutting the Giants down in a crucial September start, with the Dodgers 16 games up and the Giants a half-game out of the second wild card spot.
Tim Lincecum breathing the same air as Tommy Lasorda on purpose.
NO, I SAY. Gross. But we can also use a li’l logic for this one.
- The Dodgers are just as worried about the luxury tax as the Giants.
- There isn’t an obvious hole for a fifth starter on the Dodgers’ roster, and they have Walker Buehler in a glass case.
- If Lincecum blows the doors off his showcase and has people thinking about 2008 and 2009, he’ll go to a team with an open spot in the rotation
- If Lincecum pitches well enough and has people thinking about 2015, pre-injury, he’ll choose the minor-league deal with the clearest path to a roster spot. Which isn’t the Dodgers.
- Nobody chooses to breathe the same air as Tommy Lasorda on purpose. Except for Chase Utley, but we should have expected that.
Plus, as Jon Heyman notes at the end of his article, you would have to think the Giants get some extra credit for the good times. This, by default, would give the Dodgers negative credit. Because athletes are just like us and absolutely care about these stupid rivalries with the same amount of passion.
Mostly, though, the calculus hasn’t changed. There are teams looking for a fifth starter. It’s possible that one of them is so impressed by a 95-mph fastball that they take a $5 million gamble with incentives and an eye toward the trade deadline. If that’s the case, the Giants are out. Luckily, the Dodgers probably would be, too.
It’s possible that all of the teams at the showcase are kinda sorta interested, but no one is really willing to guarantee more than a cool $1 million. There are more than a few fifth-starter types still on the market.
It’s likely that nobody busts out anything better than a minor-league invite. Those are just the odds as they apply to a 30-something pitcher who hasn’t been good since Jeff Keppinger was on the Giants. It doesn’t matter how hard he’s been working or with whom he’s training. Baseball is hard. Pitching is hard. And it takes a lot for a team to give guaranteed money to a pitcher in this market.
But there’s a non-zero chance that the Dodgers will sign Tim Lincecum. If you think it’s impossible, well ...
... it really, really isn’t. I suppose the best-case scenario is that Lincecum throws well enough to get a major-league contract and chooses the Giants because of ~feelings~, then shows up to spring training with even more velocity on his fastball.
And the worst-case scenario is ...
... well ...
... you know.