Tim Lincecum
Tim Lincecum
36-Year-Old PitcherP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2021 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Tim Lincecum in 2021. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Rangers in February of 2018. Released by the Rangers in June of 2018.
Granted release Tuesday
PFree Agent  
June 5, 2018
Lincecum (finger) was released by the Rangers on Tuesday, Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports.
With Lincecum's 30-day rehab assignment coming to an end Monday, the Rangers opted to cut him loose rather than make room for him on their active and 40-man rosters. The decision was likely made easier by the 6.17 ERA Lincecum posted over 11.2 innings on his rehab assignment. He'll look to latch on elsewhere, though at this point it's tough to see him making an impact at the major-league level again.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Lincecum is a two-time former Cy Young winner and is only 33 years old. He also didn't pitch in 2017, posted a 9.16 ERA in 2016, and recorded an ERA of 4.13 or higher in each of the four seasons before that. In many ways, it's surprising to see him in the league at all. After working out with Driveline this offseason and recovering at least a little bit of the heat on his formerly electric fastball (up into the low 90s after sitting in the high 80s in 2016), Lincecum impressed the Rangers enough for them to give him a major-league contract. It's one of the best situations for the veteran righty to be joining, as the Rangers lack both rotation depth and established closer options. He'll likely begin the season as a middle reliever, but with solid performances over the first few months of the season, he could move up into the rotation or into closer consideration. Of course, if he looks anything like he did last time he pitched in the majors, he could be cut in May. There's enough potential here for Lincecum to be worth a late-round flier in deep formats, though the floor is arguably as low as any pitcher in the league.
There were a lot of question marks surrounding Lincecum heading into 2016 after he underwent offseason hip surgery. He managed to heal properly from the operation, and the Angels took a chance on the former Cy Young award winner in May. "The Freak" had a solid debut, going six strong innings in a winning effort, but the wheels came off in his subsequent starts. Over the rest of the summer, the right-hander wound up posting a horrific 10.58 ERA, 2.63 WHIP, and a 3.1 HR/9, prompting the Angels to ship him back to the minors and off the 40-man roster. Lincecum prefers starting to being a full-time reliever, but it seems the 32-year-old's days as an effective starter are long gone. All extraneous circumstances aside, he seems destined to land somewhere on a minor league deal with the hopes that his work in long relief can land him a big league roster spot.
While never returning to his Cy Young form, Lincecum took a step in the right direction last season after turning in three years of mediocrity. His 4.13 ERA was the lowest it had been since 2011 and he did a much better job of limiting the long ball (0.83 HR/9). What he didn't fix was his declining velocity and his declining strikeout rate (career-low 7.1 K/9 in 2015). To make matters worse, Lincecum hit the disabled list with a forearm injury in June, but while being examined, doctors discovered a degenerative hip issue, effectively ending his 2015 campaign. He underwent successful hip surgery, and will rehab in the offseason, but it is unclear how effective he will be going forward. Even without the hip issue, Lincecum's future was uncertain both in San Francisco and also as a starter, so it will be interesting to see if a team takes a chance on the once great pitcher during free agency.
This is just painful. Lincecum’s fall from grace has been rapid and ugly. He has actually stemmed the tide from that 5.18 ERA in 2012, but the 4.37 and 4.74 ERAs the last two years are still horrible and unrosterable, especially since his strikeout rate took a tumble in 2014. He had back-to-back 23 percent rates in 2012-13 before falling below 20 percent for the first time in his career with a 19.9% percent mark last season. The fastball was once integral to his success, but now it holds him back in a big way. He used to average 95 mph, but it was down to 90 mph in 2014 and was beaten around the yard to the tune of an .866 OPS (14th-highest in the league). It’s hard not to envision a second act in the bullpen for Lincecum wherein he takes over a high-leverage role and recaptures his stardom. It doesn’t appear that 2015 will be the beginning of that second act, though, so we are left with the starter version, which holds more name value than fantasy value.
After an abysmal 2012 campaign, Lincecum showed signs of improvement in 2013 (4.37 ERA, 1.32 WHIP), but still didn't return to his Cy Young form. His drop in fastball velocity over the past two seasons coupled with his inability to adjust his pitching style are the main culprits of his lackluster returns in 2012 and 2013. There were encouraging signs for Lincecum in 2013, as he was able to keep his strikeout rate up (8.8 K/9) and his FIP (3.74) and xFIP (3.56) indicate there is some room for improvement. He was also able to raise the pitch value for all of his offspeed offerings from a year ago, but his fastball took a significant hit (-13.3 wFB in 2013 compared to 5.0 wFB in 2012). This was due to his inability to locate his fastball for strikes, and when he did, they were usually left over the plate. The strikeout numbers are still there for Lincecum, and there is some upside to be had if he can fix his fastball location issues. The Giants re-signed Lincecum to a two-year, $35 million contract, showing their faith in the 29-year-old righty's ability to be an effective starter going forward.
Much was made about Lincecum's career worst season in 2012. He was hurt by a decrease in average fastball velocity to 90.4 mph, a career-worst walk rate (4.4 BB/9) and career worst HR/FB rate (14.9 percent). However, he was also hurt by a below average strand rate (67.8 percent) and his FIP (4.18) and xFIP (3.82) indicate he is likely to bounce back. Lincecum still struck out 9.2 K/9 and produced the second-best swinging-strike rate of his career at 11.3 percent, and his zone and first-pitch strike percentage were better in 2012 than 2011. Since his off season wasn't due to injury and he still strikes out batters at an elite rate, he could be a nice value this season in the San Francisco rotation.
Lincecum was his usual dominant self last season, finishing with a 2.74 ERA, 1.207 WHIP and 220 strikeouts over 217.0 innings. His 3.57 BB/9IP was his worst since his rookie year, but he posted an ERA of 1.90 or lower in three of the season's final five months. Encouragingly, his average fastball velocity (92.3) was up a full mph from the previous season, while his change-up remained highly effective. Lincecum's strikeout rate has dropped each of the past three seasons, but there's no real reason to expect it to happen a fourth, as he's forcing just as many swing-and-misses as ever and appears healthy. Lincecum remains an elite fantasy option who might not cost as high a draft pick this year compared to last, and he'll be motivated with a possible big payday looming.
Lincecum's 2010 season wasn't as good as his previous two years in which he won-back-to-back Cy Young awards, but he led the National League in strikeouts for the third straight season and was hardly a bust for his fantasy owners. While his strikeout rate dropped slightly, the main difference in his 2010 campaign was an uptick in homers allowed, as he served up 18 long balls after yielding 21 combined over the previous two years. Lincecum's fastball velocity has dropped every year he's been in the big leagues, bottoming out at 91.3 mph last season, but he posted a 1.94 ERA and a 0.936 WHIP with a 52:8 K:BB ratio over 41.2 innings in September, so he's not exactly free falling into a decline phase. There isn't a stronger bet for strikeouts in all of baseball, and coming off something of a down year, Lincecum's price tag should be cheaper at draft tables. He's a fine investment to make.
Lincecum has won back-to-back Cy Youngs over his first full two years as a starter, as he was somehow even better in 2009 despite seeing his average fastball velocity drop from 94.1 mph in 2008 to 92.4 mph last season. His 10.4 K/9IP mark was second only to Rich Harden (10.9) among qualified starters, and he also showed improved command. His changeup was the single most effective pitch in all of MLB in 2009, and his ability to limit homers is starting to become a trend rather than fluke. Lincecum also improved his groundball rate and held opponents to an MLB-low .561 OPS last year. To put that in perspective, the lowest OPS by a batter (who qualified) last season was Emilio Bonifacio at .611. The Giants� much-improved defense is also great news for Lincecum moving forward. After averaging the most number of pitches per start in MLB in 2008 (109.03), Lincecum averaged the third most last season (107.469), so he�s been worked hard. Still, thanks to the Giants failing to make the playoffs and rarely skipping their fifth starter, Lincecum barely eclipsed the dangerous 3,400-pitch total (3,439), so despite his small frame, he�s no more of an injury risk than any other hurler. He should be the first pitcher off the board in 2010 fantasy drafts.
Lincecum was brilliant in 2008, finishing 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 265 strikeouts over 227 innings. He still walks too many batters (3.3 BB/9IP), but that's really the only area to complain about. His 10.51 K/9IP mark led baseball by a wide margin, which was important since he had one of the league's worst defenses playing behind him. Lincecum features a two-seam fastball that can reach 98 mph, which is unheard of. He also possesses one of the game's best curveballs. What really pushed him over the top in 2008, however, was the development of his changeup, which has turned into a third plus pitch. Lincecum's fantastic season earned him a Cy Young award, but high pitch counts and a big jump in innings pitched make him something of an injury risk moving forward. Still, there isn't a pitcher in baseball with more upside.
Lincecum flew through the minors last year, allowing just one run over 31 innings (0.29 ERA). Of the 116 batters he faced, he struck out 46 of them. In other words, he fanned 40 percent of the hitters that stepped up to the plate – historically good. Lincecum didn't quite dominate major league hitters the same way, but he did finish with an impressive 150:65 K:BB ratio over 146.1 innings while holding batters to just a .226 average. He faded down the stretch, but since he threw 50 more innings than he did his previous year in college, that should have been expected. At 5-11, 170 pounds, Lincecum's durability has rightfully been questioned, but he's never had a hint of arm trouble, despite his unique mechanics. His stuff, however, is unquestionably ace material. He has a fastball that reaches the upper 90's, a devastating curveball and a developing changeup that could prove lethal. Once Lincecum improves his command and learns a little bit more about pitching, his potential is endless. While he doesn't come without risk, Lincecum is the type of fantasy pick that could win your league for you.
Lincecum, the 10th overall pick from the 2006 draft, has a devastating curve and a fastball that can reach 100 mph. He averaged 14.3 K/9 in college but slipped in the draft because he's a bit undersized. That certainly didn't prove to be a problem in the minors last year, where he fanned 58 batters in 31.2 IP and compiled a 1.71 ERA. He projects as a No. 1 starter and could be ready to contribute as early as this year. He's definitely someone to watch out for.
More Fantasy News
Decision day looms
PTexas Rangers  
June 2, 2018
Lincecum's 30-day rehabilitation assignment for a blister he suffered on his right middle finger ends Monday, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
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No decision on activation
PTexas Rangers  
May 27, 2018
The Rangers have yet to map out a target return date for Lincecum (finger) to return from the 60-day disabled list, Dic Humphrey of MLB.com reports.
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Throws two innings Thursday
PTexas Rangers  
May 19, 2018
Lincecum (finger) tossed two innings of relief for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday, Jeff Arnold of MLB.com reports.
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Throws scoreless rehab outing
PTexas Rangers  
May 12, 2018
Lincecum (finger) allowed two baserunners and struck out two in a scoreless inning for Triple-A Round Rock on Friday, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports.
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Begins rehab assignment
PTexas Rangers  
May 8, 2018
Lincecum (finger) allowed two runs on one hit and one walk while striking out two over one inning in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports.
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