Tim Lincecum will not be going to the Dodgers. He is instead signing a major-league deal with the Texas Rangers, a team that is not the Dodgers. This is probably best for everyone involved, except for the Rangers fans who will have to remember the very real, fleeting hope they felt when Lincecum’s brain seized up on him in the first inning of Game 1 of the 2010 World Series. This will be followed by memories that the same pitcher mowed them down in Game 5.
Did we mention that the Dodgers weren’t the team that signed Lincecum? That seems important.
Jeff Passan was the writer breaking the news that the Rangers were close, and he noted that it’s possible that Lincecum will be thrown into the race for closer, and the bullpen would probably be a more realistic path to success for a 34-year-old who hasn’t pitched a whole lot over the last couple years. Of course, it’s only because of the swift and precipitous decline of Sam Dyson that this job is open. And it’s also because of Dyson that the Giants didn’t have enough money to entertain a late bullpen addition.
This has levels. Also, the Dodgers didn’t sign Lincecum.
It will be odd to see Lincecum pitching his home games in Arlington, but it’s exciting that he’ll pitch for a team that we can root for without too many weird feelings, depending on your level of commitment to the A’s as your second team. If the fates are with us, it’s possible that Lincecum will face the Giants when the Rangers are in town from August 24 through August 26.
And, heck, just to make it supremely weird, maybe Derek Holland will be starting for the Giants. Maybe both teams will realize the natural order of things and make a post-waiver trade before the game starts, and both pitchers will come out in the uniforms we’re used to. I’ve written this down in screenplay format, and if you can just get it in the right hands ...
One thing that we haven’t covered yet is that it wasn’t the Dodgers who signed Lincecum, which is important because it would have been annoying. It was the Rangers, and while that might be disappointing to those of us hoping for a reunion, there’s going to be more Tim Lincecum in baseball next year, and that’s an excellent thing.
Man, I hope he kicks ass.