On Tuesday afternoon, Jeff Passan sent out this tweet:

Shortly following that tweet it was made official that Tim Lincecum will indeed be joining the Texas Rangers. The two parties agreed to a 1-year, $1 million major league contract. This is coming off the heels of a bullpen session he threw in front of several MLB scouts on February 15. In the 25-pitch session, the 33-year-old showed off his improved physique, and the return of his 90-93 mph fastball.

As Passan eluded to in his initial tweet, Lincecum will very likely join the Rangers bullpen competition. And with the team’s closer role up for grabs, who knows if we could see The Freak closing games in 2018. Texas has an immediate need for pitching depth, and taking this buy-low chance on Lincecum makes a lot of sense.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The 5’11” starter last pitched in 2016 with the Angels. That year, he only pitched 38.1 innings and gave up 41 runs, posting an ERA of 9.16 in nine games. Despite his truly abysmal stats two years ago, Lincecum is now healthy, back in shape and ready to compete in 2018.

A bullpen role with the Rangers could be just what he needs now. A way for him to ease back into the grind of pitching should allow him to keep his fastball velocity up in the 90’s. Then the Rangers could start to stretch his pitch count as he settles in.

The two-time Cy Young award winner will likely never be the dominant starter he once was. But this is the opportunity he needed to get back into the game. If he can show he can be effective in a relief role, perhaps they may try to stretch him back into being a starter. And that’s a comeback plenty of baseball fans would welcome.

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MLB Department Head | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m a 22-year-old Seattle Mariners fan who is into everything baseball. I was born in Kent, WA in 1995 and was six the last time they made the playoffs. I played the sport myself through high school, and once I realized I wasn’t good enough at playing, I knew I had to go a different route to continue to be around the game I love. In June of 2017 I graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from Eastern Washington University. I wrote for the school newspaper during my two years there covering the athletic department as well as the football and basketball teams. Going forward, I aim to keep writing and hope to cover the sport I love.
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MLB Department Head | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m a 22-year-old Seattle Mariners fan who is into everything baseball. I was born in Kent, WA in 1995 and was six the last time they made the playoffs. I played the sport myself through high school, and once I realized I wasn’t good enough at playing, I knew I had to go a different route to continue to be around the game I love. In June of 2017 I graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from Eastern Washington University. I wrote for the school newspaper during my two years there covering the athletic department as well as the football and basketball teams. Going forward, I aim to keep writing and hope to cover the sport I love.
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