You know who used to be awesome? Tim Lincecum. In 2008 and 2009, he won back-to-back Cy Young Awards. In 2010, he helped pitch the Giants to their first Workd Series title since they moved to San Francisco.
After 2010, things have not gone well for Lincecum. His ERAs have been over 4.00, he’s had injuries, and he hasn’t been able to stay in the rotation. He was in the bullpen for the 2012 title run. He had only one relief appearance in the entire 2014 postseason. Last year, his year ended early because he needed hip surgery. He’s now a free agent.
There’s a number of red flags. I look at that, and I see discount signs. It’s where you need to go if you truly have limited resources to improve in the offseason. You need to take what will hopefully be low cost, high reward signings. Ultimately, what the Mets would be looking for is the 2012 postseason version of Big Time Timmy Jim.
Somewhat surprisingly, Lincecum was in the bullpen making six appearances (one NLCS start). He had a 2.55 ERA, 0.792 WHIP, and a 10.2 K/9. He showed a glimpse of having the ability to be great in the bullpen. What he hasn’t shown is the ability to be durable or good enough to make 32 starts per year.
Long lost in baseball is the true long man. The player who could make a few appearances one week and make a start the next week. It’s something the Mets needed last year, and if they’re honest, they will want one next year with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard throwing more innings last year than they’ve thrown before in their careers.
With all the troubles he’s had recently, it might be good to convince Lincecum he needs a new start. Convince him he could use a one year contract to re-establish his value so he may become the next Dennis Eckersley or John Smoltz. With two Cy Youngs and three World Series rings, you’re selling him on his Hall of Fame chances. His best chance would be moving to the bullpen.
There’s one spot left in the bullpen. Why not offer it to Lincecum? It may seem Freaky, but it may be equally beneficial to all involved.