Should The New York Yankees Target Tim Lincecum?

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

As recently as 2011, Tim Lincecum was one of the better pitchers in baseball, and an All-Star.  From 2008 through 2011, it was hard to find a pitcher in the entire league that was better than Lincecum, who went 62-38 with a 2.81 ERA and 977 strikeouts, while reaching the All-Star game and finishing in the top ten of Cy Young voting each year, including winning the award in 2008 and 2009.

Lincecum has also won three World Series titles as a member of the San Fransisco Giants, going 5-2 with a 2.40 ERA and 65 strikeouts, but now his tenure with the Giants appears to be over, as he has struggled the last four years, going 39-42 with a 4.68 ERA and picking up just 577 strikeouts, although he did throw two no-hitters over that stretch.

Taking a deeper look into the numbers, it is not just Lincecum’s ERA and strikeouts that have suffered.  From 2008 through 2011, Lincecum posted an ERA+ of 143, a WHIP of 1.17, and his FIP was 2.81, right in line with his ERA.  He also posted 10.0 K/9, 7.3 H/9, 3.2 BB/9, and just 0.6 HR/9.  From 2012 through 2015, his ERA+ dropped all the way to 75, well below average, while his WHIP increased to 1.40, and his FIP increased to 4.08.  He also was unable to miss bats the same, as his K/9 decreased to 8.4, his H/9 increased to 8.7, while his BB/9 and HR/9 increased to 3.9 and 1.0, respectively.

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Looking at these numbers, combined with the fact that Lincecum made just 15 starts in 2015 and had season-ending hip surgery, and one could assume that Lincecum is washed up.  Lincecum’s surgeon, Dr. Marc Philippon, who also performed Alex Rodriguez‘s surgery in 2013, expects Lincecum to return to the mound in 2016, and Lincecum plans to hold a showcase in February to prove he can still pitch in the MLB.

Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, also added that Lincecum is doing better and will begin throwing off a mound next week, stating:

"He’s got no instability in his hip, and he’s enthusiastic about his progress."

Thurman added that nearly each of the 30 MLB teams have contacted him regarding Lincecum, and at least 20 have requested the two-time Cy Young award winner’s medical files.  With the New York Yankees reportedly sending scouts to the showcase, should the team make an offer to Lincecum?

The Yankees have a rotation that is filled, with six, maybe seven, capable starters, but each presents their own set of question marks.  Adding Lincecum only adds to those question marks, but if he can be brought in on an incentive-laden deal, then the Yankees should absolutely consider adding Lincecum.  While it is unlikely he will ever be the ace that he was, the Yankees could surely use additional depth, and Lincecum could provide that.

While Lincecum may want a contract that isn’t incentive driven, he could accept one if he feels he can be a key contributor, and if he is willing to join the Yankees on the teams terms, he is a pitcher I would love to have on board.

What do  you think Yankees fans?  Should the team give Lincecum an extended look, and even a contract offer?  Let us know below.

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