The previous week in MLB was about a team in the American League signing a former Cy Young award winner, a club in the National League looking to bolster their starting rotation and the best free-agent pitcher available could go to a World Series contender.
Rangers Sign Tim Lincecum to One-Year Deal
The Texas Rangers have signed right-handed pitcher Tim Lincecum to a one-year deal worth $1 million. The contract will also include incentives, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
Hearing Lincecum will get $1 mm base with Rangers (pending physical) + incentives. It’s again low-risk. Rangers have bought low-risk in bulk this winter. If some of those low risks pay off, Rangers could reap big rewards
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) February 28, 2018
The Rangers plan to use Lincecum out of the bullpen and with the team having an open spot at the closer position. He could earn that job with a strong showing in spring training per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Sources: Tim Lincecum is deep into talks with the Texas Rangers on a one-year major league deal, and the expectation is it gets done soon. One possible plan for Lincecum: pitch out of the bullpen. And with the Rangers’ closer job wide open, he’s got a good shot at securing it.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 27, 2018
Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young recipient, pitched for the Los Angeles Angels last year and the results weren’t ideal. He posted an astronomical 9.16 ERA in 38.1 innings (nine starts) with 23 walks surrendered, 11 home runs yielded and a 2.37 WHIP.
The right-hander has been a starter for much of his career and helped the San Francisco Giants win three World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014 as a part of their starting rotation.
However, he isn’t the same pitcher from years ago that can last six or seven innings and dominate opposing lineups. A move to the bullpen can help Lincecum as he’ll only have to pitch one inning in most situations and won’t go through the batting order multiple times.
This is a low-risk move by the Rangers that could help them in the upcoming season.
Philadelphia Phillies Looking to Upgrade Rotation by Signing Lance Lynn
The Philadelphia Phillies are trying to upgrade their starting rotation, and they’ve spoken to free-agent pitcher Lance Lynn to fulfill that need.
Lynn and the Phillies have touched base in recent weeks, but they’re not close to deal, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Morosi also mentioned the Phillies have an ongoing dialogue with another arm in Jake Arrieta.
Sources: #Phillies have had contact with free agent Lance Lynn’s camp in recent weeks, although the sides are not close to a deal. The Phillies also have ongoing dialogue with Jake Arrieta, as @JonHeyman has reported. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 1, 2018
The Phillies would love to sign Arrieta to a three-year deal, but it’s unknown if Arrieta will sign a shorter contract.
Also unclear is the type of offer the Phillies have communicated with Lynn. One significant reason Lynn has yet to be signed is that he’s two years removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery. The right-hander missed all of 2016 but had a solid season with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017. He compiled a 3.43 ERA in 186.1 innings (33 starts) with 153 strikeouts, 78 walks, and a 1.22 WHIP.
Lynn would be a welcome addition to the Phillies rotation in 2018 as the team looks to be competitive.
Washington Nationals Considering Jake Arrieta
The Washington Nationals are another National League East team who have Arrieta on their radar, per Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports. Heyman mentions the Phillies have the best chance to sign Arrieta, but the Nats shouldn’t be counted out. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo loves the right-hander, but there are concerns about the luxury tax threshold.
The Nationals have already a stellar starting rotation with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez occupying the top three spots. However, the addition of Arrieta would give them a formidable staff for the postseason.
This all comes down to if Arrieta wants to win a possible title with the Nats or wants to get guaranteed money over a couple years from the Phillies.