It was reported by Jon Heyman that Royals were escorted out of a secret throwing session by Tim Lincecum. It seems this was to be an invite only session, and Royals personnel were not invited. With the Royals penchant for rehabbing broken and seemingly worn down pitchers, it is not surprise that they would be looking at someone like Lincecum as a possible addition to their rotation competition.
Lincecum is looking to rebound after missing the majority of the 2015 season after having setbacks on a surgically repaired hip injury. The 31 year old right hander has pitched his entire career for the Giants where he has amassed 1643.2 innings and an ERA of 3.61.
He has been selected to the All Star team 4 times in his career, though has not been the same pitcher since a 2.74 ERA 2011 season. He has not been able to break the 4.00 ERA plane in the National League and has been a below average pitcher since. From 2012 to 2015, he has an ERA of 4.68 and saw his WHIP balloon to 1.402. He did still miss bats by striking out 8.4 batters per 9 innings, but that is still much lower than the 9.9k/9 clip he was on in the previous 5 seasons.
It has been reported his hip issues are of a degenerative nature and it was thought a possibility that after his surgery in 2015 that his career could be in jeopardy. He was, however given a good prognosis by the surgeon who did the procedure:
"I'm very optimistic," said surgeon Marc Philippon, when discussing the likelihood of Lincecum making a full recovery and regaining his pitching velocity and control, per CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. "He has a very strong, stable hip with no impingement (now)."
If Lincecum truly is looking to prove that his injury problems are behind him or have been corrected by surgery, the Royals would make a perfect landing spot on a 1 year deal given the friendly confines of Kauffman and the leagues best defense. The issue for Lincecum would be whether or not he would be able to crack an already crowded rotation with several pitchers already vying for a few remaining spots. He would most likely have to agree to play a role in the bullpen in order for that to even be considered a possibility and given that he has started 261 of 269 career games, that might be a tough sell.
Regardless of the situation, it seems obvious that Dayton and the Royals front office is at least interested, and he seems almost a perfect fit on the right deal. He most likely would be a long shot to be able to return back to his production from 5 years ago, but provided it is a minor league deal, it wouldn't do much harm to play the lottery. Much like Chris Young in 2015, Dayton often has a keen eye for finding those disregarded pitchers who have a few more innings left to give.
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