Source: Pirates have shown interest in free agent Tim Lincecum

By Stephen J. Nesbitt / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 4 years ago

RHP Tim Lincecum (AP)

Could ”The Freak” be the Pirates’ next reclamation project?

The Pirates are among the clubs that have checked in on free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum, a source confirmed Saturday, but at this time Lincecum still is not close to a deal with any team.

In Lincecum, teams see a man with four All-Star appearances, three World Series rings, two National League Cy Young awards and one bad hip.

Lincecum, 31, had season-ending surgery in September to help correct a lingering hip injury. His agent, Rick Thurman of Beverly Hills Sports Council, told the San Francisco Chronicle in January that his client’s hip was healing well. At the time, there was a showcase planned for early February in which Lincecum would throw for scouts.

It’s mid-March now, and Lincecum has yet to hold his showcase. A source said Lincecum still plans to throw once he’s 100 percent ready, after which a deal is expected to be struck in short order. Until then, Lincecum is in a holding pattern as spring-training camps carry on in Florida and Arizona.

Last week, news spread that the Kansas City Royals found Lincecum’s secret throwing spot in Arizona and were asked to leave.

And then came the response ...

Lincecum was 7-4 with a 4.13 ERA in 15 starts last season. In his nine-year major league career, he has a 108-83 record, 3.61 ERA, 10 complete games and two no-hitters. He led the league in strikeouts for three consecutive seasons from 2008 to 2010. He won Cy Young awards at 24 and 25.

Currently, the Pirates rotation includes Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, Jon Niese, Ryan Vogelsong and Jeff Locke, with Juan Nicasio available as a long reliever or as a member of the rotation. Right-hander prospects Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow are expected to start the season at Class AAA Indianapolis.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: and on Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.